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Rees will write and direct the musical, which follows Porgy, a disabled black street beggar living in the slums of Charleston, as he attempts to rescue Bess from a violent love and drug dealer.
Gershwin’s opera is an adaption of Dorothy and DuBose Heyward’s play Porgy, which is itself an adaptation of the Heywards’ 1925 novel. It was previously adapted for the screen in a 1959 film that Otto Preminger directed, with Sidney Poitier playing Porgy and Dorothy Dandridge as Bess.
MGM is behind the movie and has worked closely with the Gershwin estate on the project. Irwin Winkler and Charles Winkler will produce.
Rees, repped by WME and Frankfurt Kurnit. She broke out with her Netflix movie Mudbound, and reteamed with the streamer on an adaptation of the Joan Didion book The Last Thing He Wanted, which stars Ben Affleck and Anne Hathaway and will start streaming Feb. 21.
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