Don Cheadle will direct and star in the long-planned Miles Davis biopic Kill the Trumpet Player.
BiFrost Pictures will finance and produce the film, which will mark Cheadle’s directorial debut. The production company said the biopic will focus on Davis’ temporary retirement from music and his reemergence more than half a decade later. The script is written by Cheadle and Steven Baigelman (Feeling Minnesota).
Zoe Saldana will play Frances Davis, Miles Davis’ former wife, and Ewan McGregor will play a Rolling Stone reporter. Herbie Hancock, who joined Miles Davis Second Great Quintet in 1963, will be involved in the project.
Production on Kill the Trumpet Player is set to begin in June 2014.
After a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival at Avery Fisher Hall in New York on July 1, 1975, Miles Davis withdrew almost completely from the public eye for six years. Frequent collaborator Gil Evans said, “His organism is tired. And after all the music he’s contributed for 35 years, he needs a rest.”
Miles Davis died on September 28, 1991, from the combined effects of a stroke, pneumonia, and respiratory failure at the age of 65.
Don Cheadle recently reprised his role as Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine in Iron Man 3. He replaced Terrence Howard, who played Rhodes in the first film. In April, the 48-year-old hinted that a War Machine spinoff could be on its way.
“When we talked about the [War Machine] spin-off, what the departure point might be for War Machine … [we’ve discussed that] it might be when he goes rogue, so to speak, and takes a mission that he believes he is morally responsible for but is against policy and does it anyway,” Cheadle said.
The Kansas City native currently stars as Marty Kaan on the Showtime sitcom House of Lies. Cheadle won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy last year, beating Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., Matt LeBlanc, and Jim Parsons. Showtime renewed the series for a third season in January.
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