Well over a year ago, Don Cheadle announced plans to star and direct in an upcoming film on jazz icon Miles Davis. Yeah, he even learned to play the trumpet. Successfully crowd-funded through IndieGoGo, Cheadle's Davis project, "Miles Ahead" has finished production and been selected to screen as the closing night film at the upcoming New York Film Festival. Written by Steven Baigelman and Cheadle, the film focuses on Davis in the late '70s after having stopped practicing and performing and also stars Ewan McGregor, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Keith Stanfield.
Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Cheadle's Miles Davis Project "Miles Ahead"
In a statement released following the addition to the Festival, Cheadle said: "I am happy that the selection committee saw fit to invite us to the dance. It's very gratifying that all the hard work that went into the making of this film, from every person on the team, has brought us here. Miles' music is all-encompassing, forward-leaning, and expansive. He changed the game time after time, and New York is really where it all took off for him."
Sony Pictures Classics (SPC), who described the piece as "truly astounding", have since picked up the film stating "we are not only witnessing for the first time this part of Miles Davis' story as it deserves to be told, but also the birth of a major film director who happens to portray the iconic singer in a jaw dropping performance."
"With the family's blessing and Miles' tenets on creativity as our guide, we used these cloistered years as a jumping off point to compose the story of a self-exiled artist creating his own 'centrifugal adventure' to spin himself back into playing music,” said Cheadle in a statement.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Miles Ahead" was financed by BiFrost Pictures and produced by Cheadle, Lenore Zerman, Pamela Hirsch, Daniel Wagner, Robert Ogden Barnum, Darryl Porter and Vince Wilburn, Jr. with Mark Amin, Baigelman, Jonathan Gardner and Brian Pope as executive producers. Davis’ son, Erin Davis, and daughter, Cheryl Davis, are also executive producers on the film, made with the participation of The Miles Davis Estate.
While there's still no theatrical release date, it sounds like they'll try to get it out this fall in time for award consideration. In the meantime you can check out the IndieGoGo campaign video below, which includes footage of Cheadle talking with Davis' son and nephew about the film.