House-hold names Martin Scorsese and Irwin Winkler are teaming up with Begin Again director John Carney for their upcoming film, a musical called Fascinating Rhythm. The film is inspired by the life and music of legendary American composer George Gershwin. Scorsese and Winkler will produce, while Carney is set to direct from a script co-written with Chris Cluess.
Gershwin’s music spans many different genres and generations. He is best-known for “Rhapsody In Blue,” “An American In Paris,” “Swanee,” and jazz standard “I Got Rhythm,” as well as opera Porgy and Bess, which is the inspiration for the classic hit “Summertime.” Gershwin tragically died of a brain tumor in 1937 at age 38, but his music lives on in many film scores long after his death, including in the Disney classic Fantasia 2000.
According to Deadline, the musical is described as “a young woman’s magical journey through past and present New York City, inspired by the life and music of American composer George Gershwin”.
The musical is a long time coming, as Scorsese has stated for many years that he has wanted to make a movie about Gershwin. Soon after Raging Bull, he was set to work with his Taxi Driver writer Paul Schrader on a Gershwin biopic, but it never happened due to scheduling conflicts. John Guare was brought on instead in 1993, with Richard Dreyfus and Robert De Niro set to star, but the film ultimately never got the approval from Warner Bros. Steven Spielberg also was close to making a biopic of Gershwin in 2010 with Zachary Quinto to portray Gershwin.