Miles Davis Film Finally Moving Forward with Don Cheadle
There have been rumors about a Miles Davis biopic for a long time now, but the rumor mill seems to be picking up steam in the last few weeks. I've been tracking this on my radar since the beginning of June and found this at the LA Times:
"He has a complete calmness to him," says Ejiofor. "You need that if you're going to improvise, just a real relaxed assurance. That's a jazz skill. I mean, the great jazz musicians never break a sweat."
Before long, Cheadle will be calling upon his jazz training even more directly. Through his new shingle, Crescendo Productions, he is poised to star in, produce and make his directorial debut on a biopic of jazz legend Miles Davis. In preparation, Cheadle — whose musical background encompasses saxophone, drums, piano and vocals — has already begun practicing the trumpet for about two hours a day.
Then, I clipped an article at the end of June from Star Pulse, where Don Cheadle talks a bit about preparing for the role:
The Hotel Rwanda star felt sure recollections from Davis' family members would help him master the essence of the legend but Cheadle discovered he knew more about his subject than they did.
He says, "I asked them about parts of his life and they don't have any idea. They don't know what was going on.
And now, as I check my feeds before bed, I find out that movie news site extraordinaire Rotten Tomatoes has a new article (thus compelling me to finally write a post on this topic), including this about his preparation:
"I'm playing now, yeah," said Cheadle. "I've been touring so much and traveling so much, I haven't been able to jump back into the lessons so much but I play every day."
He won't have to be perfect for the film. It's just an acting exercise really. "It's a work in progress, I'll tell you that much. It doesn't sound good to me but I'm not going to play in the movie. I just have to play so I'm comfortable with it. We have all of Miles' archival music. I'd never try to play it personally."
I know I'll be waiting in line opening day if-and-when this movie finally comes out. I'll never forget seeing Miles in the Australian flick Dingo at the old King Theater, or actually getting to see him live in 1990 and 1991. Hell, I'll probably give the DVD out as Christmas presents.
Here's some classic Miles courtesy of YouTube - be sure to check out the last video, an interview with Bryant Gumbel: