a/k/a Kill The Trumpet Player
Release Date: (2015)
Running Time: 100 mins.
Studio: Bifrost Pictures, Crescendo Productions, Naked City Films
Director: Don Cheadle
Cast: Don Cheadle (Miles Davis), Ewan McGregor (Dave Brill), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Frances Taylor), Keith Stanfield (Junior), Michael Stuhlbarg (Harper), Lakeith Lee Stanfield.
Story: A remarkable portrait of Davis, refracted through his crazy days in the late-70s. Holed up in his Manhattan apartment, wracked with pain from a variety of ailments and fiending for the next check from his record company, dodging sycophants and industry executives, he is haunted by memories of old glories and humiliations and of his years with his great love Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi). Source: Blackfilm.
Update: On 7/26/15 The L. A. Times reported that Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis tale Miles Ahead will make its world premiere at The 53rd New York Film Festival’s closing night on Oct. 11. Cheadle directed the film, his first such effort, and also co-wrote the script and stars as its lead character.
The film does not yet have U.S. distribution, a break from recent tradition in which NYFF world premieres are studio award hopefuls for the current season. In fact, the film was partly financed by an IndieGogo campaign. In making his case for contributions, Cheadle explained his motivations and approach.
“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. “
Emayatzy Corinealdi stars as longtime love interest Frances Taylor and Ewan McGregor as a man who finagled his way into Davis’ apartment. Source: L.A. Times.
Update 7/20/14: In an Entertainment Weekly 7/7/14 exclusive of the actor in character, Cheadle gave fans a first look at his interpretation of the icon during the period leading up to his 1969 jazz-rock fusion recording In a Silent Way.
From June 3, 2014 to July 10, 2014 Cheadle’s Indiegogo campaign surpassed it’s goal of $325,000, raising $343,496. Photo Source: Entertainment Weekly; Source(s): Entertainment Weekly, Indiegogo.com.
Update 7/6/14: Don Cheadle has initiated an Indiegogo campaign to raise $325,000 towards the overall budget of $10 million for his long in development Miles Davis project titled Miles Ahead. As of July 6th, the campaign, which started June 3rd and will close July 10th, has raised $214,661 which will contribute to principal photography when the film goes into production later this summer. On Indiegogo’s official site, Cheadle states:
“Music has always been one of my passions. Since 6th grade, when I started listening to my parents’ Miles Davis records, his artistry has been an inspiration to me; he was someone who only ever followed a path as a runway to create a new one.
Surprisingly, Miles’ life, his passion, his creativity, his fire have never been brought to life in a film and the fact that his family has chosen me to do this now is an honor. 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?”
Cheadle will direct and is producing the film through his Crescendo Productions banner, along with Bifrost’s Daniel Wagner, and Robert Ogden Barnum. Also producing are Darryl Porter and Vince Wilburn on behalf of the Davis estate, Lenore Zerman and Pam Hirsch. It was previously reported that Zoe Saldana was to play the musician’s ex-wife, Frances Taylor, but due to a scheduling conflict she has since been replaced by Emayatzy Corinealdi. (Sources: Indiegogo, Shadow and Act, Cincinnati.com; Photo Source: Indiegogo.com).