From an interview last year w/Frank Marshall:
CS: What is one project you've always wanted to do but for some reason it never came together? A dream project?
I've always wanted to do a project about a guitar player named Django Reinhardt. Gypsy, father of jazz guitar… he's actually the reason I'm in the business cause my father was inspired by his guitar playing when he was growing up on a farm in El Dorado, Kansas. My grandfather was a banjo player and my dad started playing guitar and listening to Django Reinhardt 78 records, and became a child prodigy at age 14. MCA signed him as a radio singer/player and the whole family moved to Hollywood. My dad later became a studio guitarist, played in all the big bands and stuff, then went on to write music for tv and movies. Jack Marshall. Wrote "The Munsters" and did stuff with Peggy Lee, Vic Damone, Sinatra. I've always known about Django. We had dogs named Django. Django was another incredible story. So when I was doing "Bourne Identity" in Paris I found the family and looked up who owned the rights, and to make a long story short got the rights to his life. Now it's just a question of trying to put the movie together and trying to get a script.
CS: Do you have a lead?
Marshall: Johnny Depp.
CS: Wow! That would be amazing.
Marshall: Don't you think? Cause Django really was in his time the Elvis of Europe, and I think Johnny has that. He's got the dark hair, he plays guitar, he's eccentric, all of it! Everything Django was. Django's story is unbelieveable.
CS: You and Johnny have discussed the project?
Marshall: Yeah yeah, we can't say it… but the perfect person would be Johnny, but he's booked for the next ten years so… (laughter) The thing is the combination of the story and the music. The music is unbelievable, and people have never heard it over here.
CS: Woody Allen created a Django-esque character with Sean Penn in "Sweet and Lowdown".
Marshall: He did, yes yes, which I liked! Yeah yeah, and Sean Penn's character was always worried about him, remember how he always got nervous when he heard Django was next door? It was his hero.