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FIRST LOOK: Don Cheadle as Miles Davis in New Biopic

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood July 8, 2014 at 11:30AM

Don Cheadle is set to make his directorial debut with "Miles Ahead," a biopic about jazz legend Miles Davis, who the actor has apparently been obsessed with from a young age.
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Don Cheadle (Miles Ahead/Miles Davis)
Brian Douglas

Don Cheadle is set to make his directorial debut with "Miles Ahead," a biopic about jazz legend Miles Davis, who the actor has apparently been obsessed with from a young age.  

Cheadle's film focuses on Davis's so-called "silent period," a five-year span he took off from music before returning to his art, as well as the musician's rocky relationship with Frances Taylor Davis, his first wife.  

After languishing in the development whirlpool for almost a decade, the project is set to begin shooting this week in Cincinnati.  Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg and Emayatzy Corinealdi co-star alongside Cheadle as Davis.  

Remarkably, Cheadle is making his film without any studio backing--he had a bite from HBO at one point but that fell through, and the actor/director turned to Indiegogo instead to raise $325,000.  With a little less than two days to go, the project has so far raised about $265,000.

EW sat down with Cheadle for an interview about the biopic and the process of making a completely independent film--you can read some highlights from their exchange after the jump.

This article is related to: Don Cheadle, Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg, Entertainment Weekly, IN THE WORKS, Interviews


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.