Thursday, December 8, 2022

Peter Bogdanovich’s last film was on Gershwin brothers

Could a posthumous project by Peter Bogdanovich on George and Ira Gershwin make it to the big screen?

After the famed director of “The Last Picture Show” died January 6, writer Sam Kashner revealed in Graydon Carter’s Air Mail this week that he and Bogdanovich had been penning a screenplay about the famed “Porgy and Bess” composers over the past year, called “Our Love Is Here To Stay.”

Bogdanovich was also meant to direct the film.

“Peter was so excited about the prospect of being back in the director’s chair,” writes Kashner of the director whose credits also included the ’70s classics “Paper Moon” and “What’s Up, Doc?” “He began to talk about how the Gershwin picture had to be shot in black-and-white,” like “The Last Picture Show.”

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But Kashner recalls that as the screenplay process ended, “To make our movie, Peter knew he would need something like an understudy [to direct], for insurance purposes, ‘in case anything happened to me.’”

But while “Peter floated a few names for possible alternate directors… sadly we didn’t get that far.”

Composers George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Bogdanovich had been penning a screenplay about the famed “Porgy and Bess” composers over the past year called “Our Love Is Here To Stay.”
Michael Ochs Archives

Bogdanovich himself had served as a backup director for projects by Orson Welles and John Cassavetes, Kashner writes.

He passed away at 82 from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Kashner now figures of the duo’s Gershwin brothers film: “Someone, someday may come along and breathe life into our Gershwin story, imbue it with Peter’s spirit, but for me, it was never just about the screenplay, as these things are in the laps of the gods anyway. It was always about the pleasure of his company, the pure joy of the work.”

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There’s buzz that one of Bogdanovich’s acolytes might look at the project. His acclaimed fans include Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Quentin Tarantino and David Chase.

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