After turning to crowdsource funding in his efforts to raise money for his long-planned Miles Davis film, House of Lies actor Don Cheadle is finally moving forward with Miles Ahead, which he’ll both star in and make his directorial debut on. Shooting begins this week in Cincinatti, and Entertainment Weekly just unveiled our first look at Cheadle in the role (below).
Carrying a trumpet and proudly sporting the jheri-curled mullet Davis made famous, Cheadle certainly looks the part. And if what we’ve been hearing about Miles Ahead so far is any indication, Cheadle’s appearance is just one of many reasons to be excited for this film. For one, the actor has shied away from the word biopic - Miles Ahead focuses on the jazz musician’s attempts to break out of his five-year silent period and into the music industry – as well as back into the heart of his first wife Frances Taylor Davis.
Ewan McGregor co-stars as a Rolling Stone journalist, and Miles Ahead also features Keith Stanfield, Michael Stuhlbarg and Emayatzy Corinealdi (replacing Zoe Saldana as Frances). The film “chronicles a few dangerous days in Davis’ life as the jazz icon (Cheadle) teams with a Rolling Stone journalist (McGregor) to hunt down a stolen recording intended to reignite his career.”
Cheadle has been working to make this film happen since 2006, so it’s exciting to see that the pieces are finally falling into place. That Cheadle is in full control and that a studio isn’t dictating how the film is going to look hopefully means that the actor will be able to tell the story that he’s wanted to tell all along. So many biopics have emerged in the past few years (Lincoln, The Iron Lady, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Diana, Hitchcock and Hyde Park on Hudson spring to mind) that it’s been plainly exhausting to get through them all, so anything Cheadle can do to set his apart from the rest will be much appreciated by anyone who seeks it out.
With the actor/director all set to make his own kind of music on the film, all indications are that Miles Ahead will be a project to keep a close eye on.