House of Lies star Don Cheadle has been trying to get a movie about iconic jazz musician Miles Davis made since 2006, and now the pieces are finally falling into place. Cheadle will play the icon and make his directorial debut on the film, the title of which has been changed from Kill The Trumpet Player to Miles Ahead. Trainspotting actor Ewan McGregor will also star, and now, Short Term 12 breakout Keith Stanfield has come aboard as well to take on the third lead role.
Rather than focusing on Davis’s life as a whole, Miles Ahead “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.” Stanfield will play Junior, a young and impressionable trumpet player known for having a short fuse, who gets mixed up in the burglary.
It’s exciting to see Stanfield, a highly talented but still barely known actor, lock down a major role in a buzzy project like this. His star is certainly on the rise – the young actor will appear opposite Frank Grillo in July’s The Purge: Anarchy and also plays civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson in the highly anticipated MLK biopic Selma. Miles Ahead is just one more intriguing project that he can now add to his resume.
The movie is currently being crowdfunded via Indiegogo. Davis, who also wrote the script with Steven Baigelman, is asking for $325,000 – the campaign has raised around $146,000 so far. In the campaign description, Cheadle wrote:
I want to tell a story that Miles himself would have wanted to see, something hip, cool, alive and AHEAD.
I’ve taken my marching orders from Miles’ mandates (“Play what’s not there.” “Fear no mistakes. There are none.”) and focused in on a very specific point in his life to explore his relationship with his muse, his voice, his fears and challenges to come out of his silent period and return to the music. I’m hopefully making a movie that tells a story many people can relate to, jazz fan or not.
MILES AHEAD is not just about the music. It’s about what we all face at one time or another in our lives; questions about who we really are, what we have to say and how will we say it. How will we ultimately be defined and who gets to say so?
I don’t know about you, but all of us here at We Got This Covered are very excited that Miles Ahead is coming together – with the great cast Cheadle has lined up, chances are high that this movie could turn out to be something very special.