New York-based producer Ed Pressman and Legende’s Alain Goldman will produce the film, which will be the first big-screen project authorized by the Louis Armstrong estate.
Ron Bass will write the original script.
Legende was also responsible for the award winning “Ma Vie En Rose.”
The Armstrong film will kick off during the musician’s impoverished early years in New Orleans and primarily chronicle his career as a trumpet virtuoso and improvisational singer.
“Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our culture,” said Whitaker, who portrayed jazz great Charlie Parker in “Bird.” “He lived an amazing life and, through his art, shifted the way music was played and would be heard after him, not just here in the U.S. but all over the world.”
“What a Wonderful World” will begin shooting in the summer in Louisiana.