Tracy Morgan Is Starring in a Self-Funded Louis Armstrong Biopic

"He sounds exactly like him and looks exactly like him," according to Jermaine Fowler

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Mar 9, 2021

Tracy Morgan is playing Louis Armstrong in a self-financed biopic examining the influential jazz icon's life and work.

News of the project comes from Morgan's recent Coming 2 America co-star Jermaine Fowler. who shared details the Armstrong film to NME.

Asked if he feels that Morgan is an underrated actor because of his "whackier" roles, Fowler responded: "I do. I would love to see him do something dramatic. In fact, he showed us a clip of a movie he's financing that's really, really dope. He wants to play Louis Armstrong in a biopic and I believe he can do it."

Of the teaser, Fowler continued, "He sounds exactly like him and looks exactly like him, and I was blown away by it. If he can truly pull that off I think it'll put Tracy on another level altogether."

Morgan has expressed interest in playing Armstrong in the past. In 2016, he told the San Diego Union-Tribune, "If I had my dream movie role, it would be to play...Louis Armstrong, and I would name [the film] Pops. He was the Michael Jackson of his generation — he pleased white people and black people...I love his whole career. He's like [Jimi] Hendrix — Hendrix had many bands, but they were all great."

Morgan, who played trombone growing up, also shared with Howard Stern in 2018 that the film was in development. He told Stern that he would "channel" Armstrong on-screen, saying, "Forget the skin complexion. Forget the voice. You'll go, 'Wow, that story is ... deep.'"

"I've been a fan of everything Tracy's done since Martin," Fowler told NME of Morgan. "I love small cameos, and when you can turn them into a big cameo it's even better — like Kevin Hart in 40 Year Old Virgin and Craig Robinson in Knocked Up. With Tracy, his cameo in Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back always made me laugh so much. I told Tracy that. I even did his line from it ['I don't know what the fuck you just said, little kid, but you special, man. You reached out and you touched a brother's heart'] and he said to me: 'I don't really remember none of that, man.' It was the perfect response."

Last year saw Morgan reunite with his 30 Rock castmates.

Read Exclaim!'s review of Coming 2 America.

Latest Coverage