Whitaker, who won a best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the big-screen drama "The Last King of Scotland," played music icon Charlie Parker in "Bird," and directed the films "Waiting to Exhale" and "Hope Floats."
Variety.com said he will start shooting the Armstrong project "What a Wonderful World" next summer in Louisiana.
"Amelia" and "Entrapment" scribe Ron Bass is writing the screenplay for the film, which is to be the first authorized by the Armstrong estate.
"Armstrong left a monumental mark on our lives and our culture," Whitaker told Variety.com. "He lived an amazing life and, through his art, shifted the way music was played and would be heard after him, not just here in the United States but all over the world."
Ray Liotta sues skin care company over use of likeness
Boston schools pull out free condoms over wrapping complaints