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We Now Know What Story Don Cheadle's Miles Davis Film Will Tell + Zoe Saldana Is On-board

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 7, 2013 at 10:01AM

We Now Know What Story Don Cheadle's Miles Davis Film Will Tell + Zoe Saldana Is On-board
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Miles Davis

Updating last week's post on Don Cheadle's long-in-development Miles Davis project, we finally have some idea of what story it will tell.


Until today, all we've known about the upcoming film is that, as Don has said, it definitely will not your conventional biopic, instead calling it more of a gangster movie, suggesting that he might be taking some liberties with Miles Davis' story.

With international film financing, sales and distribution company, IM Global, boarding the project, with plans to shop worldwide rights at the American Film Market (AFM) in Los Angeles, which kicks off today, a description of the film has surfaced in AFM's catalogue, which I'm staring at right now. It reads:

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.

I'll rely on those of you who are experts Miles Davis' life to chime in on whether the above description mimics anything that actually happened in reality. It doesn't sound familiar to me, given what I do know of the man.

The AFM catalogue also lists Zoe Saldana and Ewan McGregor as cast members, along with Cheadle. 

Both actors were previously said to be "in talks," so I suppose we can now assume that they are officially on board. Although no word on what roles each will play. But given the above logline, I'd guess that one of them will play the journalist and the other, the junkie jazz musician.

Cheadle is listed as the film's director (Antoine Fuqua was previously said to be attached).

Also worth noting, Herbie Hancock is on board as executive producer and musical supervisor.

The title is Kill The Trumpet Player, although I've also seen it called Shoot The Trumpeter. But I believe it's the former.

I can only guess that maybe Don Cheadle was inspired by French New Wave cinema pioneer François Truffaut's 1960 crime drama, Shoot The Piano Player. But I could be wrong. Just a guess.

So now we know a little more. Word is that there's a lot of interest in the project, so we might have another update on this post-AFM.

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).

This article is related to: Don Cheadle, Zoe Saldana


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