Looking for young, black, talented trumpet players known and unknown. Twitter, hold me down!!
— Don Cheadle (@IamDonCheadle) June 25, 2013
A tweet from Don Cheadle which suggests (to me) that his Miles Davis project might be moving forward. Although he didn’t say what exactly the project this casting announcement was for. So it could be anything; but I’m guessing that it’s for his Miles Davis film – a project we’ve been following for a few years now.
He received lots of responses immediately, with some apparently asking him why the trumpet players had to be black. Cheadle replied, stating that race is relevant because that’s essentially who the characters, are – they’re black.
The most recent update we have on the project included an interview Cheadle gave The Hollywood Reporter, in which he talked about practicing trumpet during his lunch breaks, while on the set of his hit Showtime series, House of Lies, in preparation for his Mile Davis bio.
A title for the film has also been revealed to be Kill The Trumpet Player, which I’d guess that maybe Cheadle was inspired by French New Wave cinema pioneer François Truffaut’s 1960 French crime drama film, Shoot The Piano Player. But I could be wrong. Just a guess.
Although Don has said a number of times that the film is definitely not your conventional biopic, instead calling it more of a “gangster movie,” suggesting that he’s likely taking some liberties with Miles Davis’ story. I’m looking forward to hearing more, and seeing what the reaction to his ideas will be from audiences who haven’t taken too kindly to biopics of black public figures that deviate from what we know to be fact.
Antoine Fuqua was previously said to be attached to direct the film. Of course Fuqua is probably best known for his adult crime dramas, so, with all that’s currently in front of us with regards to Cheadle’s project (including Cheadle’s “gangster movie” reference), maybe the title comparison to Truffaut’s film is more than just a guess on my part, and no accident.
And I should mention that there’s a second Miles Davis film in the works, which George Tillman Jr is attached to direct. The film will be loosely based on Gregory Davis’ book, Dark Magus: The Jekyll and Hyde Life of Miles Davis (Gregory Davis being Miles Davis’ eldest son).
The plan for Tillman’s project, which will be called Miles Davis, Prince of Darkness, is to produce a more conventional biopic (the producers previously mentioned Walk The Line and Ray as potential models that they’ll follow).
The most recent update we have on this is Tillman’s revelation during a January interview at the Sundance Film Festival (where his latest film, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, premiered), sharing that he was working on the film’s script, and was very excited about it, adding that he felt the pressure to essentially “get it right.”