I believe we just finished looking at one biopic and now we’re gearing up for another. Entertainment Weekly has posted the first look at Don Cheadle playing Miles Davis from his upcoming directorial debut: Miles Ahead.
Aside from the title that sounds like something you might hear on Entourage or Californication, Cheadle sounds like he is in full Miles David territory and he certainly looks the part. From Entertainment Weekly:
In an EW exclusive of the actor in character, Cheadle gave fans a first look at his interpretation of the icon during in the period leading up to his 1969 jazz-rock fusion recording In a Silent Way. “It’s surreal,” says the 49-year-old House of Lies actor, who in the photograph totes a trumpet and sports Davis’ trademark jheri-curled mullet.
The biopic—which will co-star Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg and Emayatzy Corinealdi—begins shooting this week in Cincinnati after being in development for nearly a decade.
But will he have Davis’ classic intensity? That’s the only part I think would be super hard to pull off because I have a hard time seeing Don Cheadle just emptying his spit valve onto a jackass in the audience. He could certainly do it, but I don’t know if I’d be as impressed.
I could be very wrong though. Cheadle is clearly out to honor the Jazz legend with a top notch performance if his interview is to be believed. He’s basically checking off all of the necessities for a passion project, including being a fan and finding that personal connection:
What about his story or life resonates most with you? In talking about his ability to find clarity through cacophony, you sound so passionate.
Well, the thing about Miles Davis was that he thought of himself as a social musician who played social music and didn’t want to be boxed in and defined. He could recognize talent that very few could and not only recognized it, but gave the people with whom he played room to develop and grow and stretch out and find their own voices. That’s why he spawned so many leaders.
Everyone who played with Miles’ band became a leader and most of them went on to be leaders of bands and have long recording careers because he gave them the room to create and demanded that they create. He’s the guy, if he heard you rehearsing your solo and then you played that onstage, you were fired. I don’t pay you to rehearse, I don’t pay you to rehearse, I pay you to rehearse live in front of people. Don’t bring your polished solo out, go out and go crazy. (via)
I’m excited to see how this one turns out. I mentioned being a bit underwhelmed by the James Brown biopic, Get On Up, and I know there are plenty of varying opinions on Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix. Maybe Cheadle has the spirit to bring this to life in the way it needs? We’ll just have to keep an eye open.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)