It appears that Don Cheadle's long-in-development Miles Davis project, is finally set to go into production, after years of uncertainty.
In our last update on the project, last November, international film financing, sales and distribution company, IM Global, boarded the project, with plans to shop worldwide rights at the then American Film Market (AFM) in Los Angeles. And it looks like Cheadle may have finally secured funding for the film, which, as Don himself has said, will definitely not be a conventional biopic, instead calling it more of a "gangster movie," suggesting that he will be taking some liberties with Miles Davis' story.
According to a press release I received today from the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission, the film is set to shoot in those areas, starting in July of this year.
To be titled Miles Ahead (something I didn't know before today), the project will be filmed "entirely in Greater Cincinnati in the coming months," said Kristen Erwin Schlotman, film commission executive director.
Added Cheadle in a statement: "We look forward to exploring the culture, musicians and backdrop of this city. We are hoping to work closely with the community to bring this project to (the) screen."
It was previously titled Kill The Trumpet Player, although I've also seen it called Shoot The Trumpeter, which I previously guessed was maybe inspired by French New Wave cinema pioneer François Truffaut's 1960 crime drama, Shoot The Piano Player.
The only official description of the film we have thus far, follows:
After his record label steals his comeback album before he’s ready for it to be heard, Miles Davis hunts it down with a journalist and a junkie jazz musician.
Zoe Saldana and Ewan McGregor will co-star alongside Cheadle in the film, although what specific roles they will play is still not public info. But based on the above logline, it's likely that they will each play one of the 2 characters helping Davis hunt down his comeback album.
The press release also came with an announcement that local musicians and actors will be sought, so there might be a job here for some of you reading this.
Musicians, extras, crew wanted:
Extras: Send a headshot and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jazz musicians: Send a photo and contract information to email@example.com
Union crew: For qualified crew employment, send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nonunion crew: Send resume to email@example.com
Cheadle was listed as the film's director in the AFM catalogue last fall; and I assum that's still the case (Antoine Fuqua was previously said to be attached).
Also worth noting, Herbie Hancock was on board as executive producer and musical supervisor.
By the way, there's a second Miles Davis film in the works, which George Tillman Jr is attached to direct. The film will be loosely based on Gregory Davis' book, Dark Magus: The Jekyll and Hyde Life of Miles Davis (Gregory Davis being Miles Davis' eldest son).
The plan for Tillman's project, which will be called Miles Davis, Prince of Darkness, is to produce a more conventional biopic (the producers previously mentioned Walk The Line and Ray as potential models that they'll follow).