Ahead of its recently-announced premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, Amazon Studios has acquired the worldwide rights to Regina King’s big-screen directorial debut, One Night in Miami, Shadow And Act has learned.

The film is written by Kemp Powers and based off his 2013 stage play. The film is produced by Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder of Snoot Entertainment and Jody Klein of ABKCO. King and Powers are executive produce.

It gives a fictional account of a real-life night featuring a pre-Muhammad Ali Cassius Clay, Jim Brown, Malcolm X and Sam Cooke. The OA and High Fidelity star Kingsley Ben-Adir will be Malcolm X, Riverdale star Eli Goree will be Cassius Clay, Clemency star Aldis Hodge will be Jim Brown and Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. will be Sam Cooke.

The official description: Set on the night of February 25, 1964, the story follows a young Cassius Clay (before he became Muhammad Ali) as he emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center the new World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Against all odds, he defeated Sonny Liston and shocked the sports world. While crowds of people swarm Miami Beach to celebrate the match, Clay – unable to stay on the island because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws – instead spends the night at the Hampton House Motel in one of Miami’s historically black neighborhoods celebrating with three of his closest friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown. The next morning, the four men emerge determined to define a new world for themselves and their people. In One Night in Miami, Powers explores what happened during these pivotal hours through the dynamic relationship between the four men and the way their friendship, paired with their shared struggles, fueled their path to becoming the civil rights icons they are today.

One Night in Miami beautifully captures a significant moment in history when these great minds gathered and ultimately helped shape the conversation of what we know today as the civil rights movement,” said Head of Amazon Studios’ Jennifer Salke. “Regina King is a force of nature – mastering her craft in front of the camera as we’ve seen in her extensive body of work, and now taking her talent behind the camera. We’re so proud to welcome Regina and Kemp to the Amazon family.”

“Amazon’s enthusiasm for One Night in Miami is both humbling and exciting,” added King. “I am honored to have them as partners on my feature film directorial debut.” Amazon Studios is releasing the film later this year at a prime award season slot. An official soundtrack album will be released by ABKCO in conjunction with the film.

King is arguably one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood right now. She is active as an actor, producer and director. In the past two years, she’s won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for work in both television and film, including her portrayal of Sharon Rivers in the Barry Jenkins-directed film If Beale Street Could Talk. She also recently had a critically-acclaimed turn in Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen series on HBO. Over the past several years, she’s become an acclaimed television director, helming episodes of shows like Scandal, The Good Doctor, Pitch and Insecure. And One Night in Miami isn’t exactly King’s overall feature directorial debut, as she directed the 2013 BET television film, Let the Church Say Amen.



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Photo: Amazon