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Miles Ahead, a “crazy, action-packed” biopic about the legendary and legendarily volatile jazz musician Miles Davis, is set in 1979, a lost period for Davis. He became something of a recluse. Laurie Verchomin, a romantic partner with his frequent collaborator Bill Evans, said that Davis “was hanging out with transvestites and had an entourage of kinky people coming and going from his place.” It’s an interesting time period to set a movie, because Davis was far past his peak; his 1981 “comeback” album, The Man with the Horn, was a murky mish-mash of funk and jazz. His career in the late 1970s and 1980s can best be summed up by “guest appearance on Miami Vice.”
Don Cheadle, the star, writer, and and director of Miles Ahead, decided to focus his movie on that era because Davis “wasn’t playing,” he told EW. “As a human and an artist and someone who’s a creative person, what happens when you just stop for five years? That’s why we picked that moment to sort of be the departure point: him on the verge of talking again, basically.”
The first line a zonked-out Davis rasps in the just-released trailer above is, “If you’re going to tell the story, come with some attitude, man.” Miles Ahead looks like it’s all gun-toting, coke-snorting, car-chasing attitude.
With some jazz thrown in there, too.