Tracy Morgan’s next role could show off a different side of his acting. As confirmed by Coming 2 America co-star Jermaine Fowler, Morgan plans to portray late jazz great Louis Armstrong in a self-financed biopic.
Fowler shared the revelation in an interview with NME after being asked whether he thinks Morgan’s acting chops are underrated. “I do. I would love to see him do something dramatic,” Fowler said. “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.”
He continued by saying Morgan sounds and looks exactly like Armstrong in the clip. “If he can truly pull that off I think it’ll put Tracy on another level altogether,” Fowler added.
Taraji P. Henson also confirmed Morgan’s ability to play Armstrong when they both guested on Conan in 2019, saying she was “blown away” by a preview of the biopic.
“Our lives run parallel. I really believe this is a beautiful world,” Morgan told Conan O’Brien, while referencing Armstrong’s signature song, “What a Wonderful World”. “With all the scams and drudgery and broken dreams, it’s still a beautiful place to be.”
Morgan plays Fowler’s uncle in the new Coming to America sequel. Best known for his run on Saturday Night Live and scene-stealing role on the NBC sitcom, 30 Rock, the comedian first spoke to Howard Stern about developing the Armstrong biopic in 2018.
At the time, he told Stern that the script was being written by comic Jeff Stilson, who wrote on The Late Show with David Letterman and formerly wrote and produced on The Daily Show. If that information still holds true, the biopic might not be an entirely serious effort.
Morgan called Armstrong his dream role in a 2016 interview with The San Diego Tribune. “If I had my dream movie role, it would be to play [jazz pioneer] Louis Armstrong, and I would name it Pops,” he said. “He was the Michael Jackson of his generation — he pleased white people and black people. Check that out!”
Back in 2003, Morgan had the chance to portray Armstrong in a SNL sketch. If everything goes as planned, he will have the opportunity to take his dream role to the big screen.