This is our first look at Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in the biopic that he's also directing, called Miles Ahead. This is the first film that Cheadle has directed, and it has been a passion project of his that he has been working on for the last decade. He's been a fan of Davis since he was a little kid. It all started with the legendary jazz trumpeter’s album Porgy and Bess.
The movie will follow the period leading up to Davis' 1969 jazz-rock fusion recording In a Silent Way. The movie also stars Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Emayatzy Corinealdi, and it's set to start shooting this week in Cincinnati.
In a interview with EW, Cheadle spoke about the film and offered up the following information on the story:
"The construction of the movie is the parallel story of Miles in 1979 at the end of this quiet period he was in, the five-year stretch of time when he wasn’t playing and performing and recording, juxtaposed against the 10-year period where he was with Francis Taylor Davis, who, at the time, was the love of his life and his muse."
When asked what parts of Davis' story resonated with him most, he replied:
"Well, the thing about Miles Davis was that he thought of himself as a social musician who played social music and didn’t want to be boxed in and defined. He could recognize talent that very few could and not only recognized it, but gave the people with whom he played room to develop and grow and stretch out and find their own voices. That’s why he spawned so many leaders.
"Everyone who played with Miles’ band became a leader and most of them went on to be leaders of bands and have long recording careers because he gave them the room to create and demanded that they create. He’s the guy, if he heard you rehearsing your solo and then you played that onstage, you were fired. I don’t pay you to rehearse, I don’t pay you to rehearse, I pay you to rehearse live in front of people. Don’t bring your polished solo out, go out and go crazy."
Cheadle is a very talented guy, and it will be great to see what he does with this film project. He definitely looks great in the role!
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