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February 2006
Antoine Fuqua news

Fuqua to direct Morgan Freeman as jazz impresario Duke Ellington in "The Jazz Ambassadors."
Date: February 3, 2006
Source: Variety
New Line has acquired "The Jazz Ambassadors," a pitch for Antoine Fuqua to direct and Morgan Freeman to star in as jazz impresario Duke Ellington.

Fuqua hasn't made a film since 2004's " King Arthur." He developed "American Gangster" with Denzel Washington, only to watch Universal pull the plug over budget, and then got close with the Warner Bros./Icon drama "Under and Alone" until Mel Gibson decided not to star.

Fuqua, who has busied himself directing commercials and videos, is expected to next direct the Paramount drama "By Any Means Necessary" this spring.

"Jazz" covers the Ellington orchestra's tour of Iraq during a 1963 CIA-led coup that would eventually pave the way for Saddam Hussein's rise to power.

Jeremy Donner will write the script. Freeman and his Revelations partner Lori McCreary will produce with Fuqua, whose deal is being negotiated.

Donner, a tyro writer who studied film at AFI, found the historical tale and came to Revelations carrying a rights deal with Tom Simons, a State Dept. official who accompanied Ellington's band as a young man.



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