Don Cheadle Attends ‘Miles Ahead’ Premiere In Cincinnati

Don Cheadle kept his 2014 promise to the people of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cheadle showed up today to walk the red carpet for the premiere of Miles Ahead at the Esquire Theatre in Clifton, local news WCPO Cincinnati reported.

Cheadle, who stars in and directed the Sony Pictures Classics film about the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis, said that his return trip was his thanks for the Queen’s City’s support. He mentioned local musicians who had contributed to the film, which he had been working on for nearly a decade.

“To be honest, this film would not have happened without this city.”

Cheadle had high praise for Kristen Schlotman, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission.

“This woman did it all for us. She put her arms around us and made it all happen.”

Cheadle had launched a $325,000 Indiegogo fundraising campaign in 2014. At that time, he promised to return to Cincinnati for an advance screening. As a nod to Miles Davis, who often referred to his tunes as “social music” rather than jazz, Cheadle said he would make the movie a “social event.”

Miles Ahead screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it received top billing.

Reviewer Dominick Suzanne-Miller described on Consequence of Sound some of the efforts that Cheadle put into this film, which she described as “full of love and complication.”

“For whatever one could say about Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s long-gestating passion project about a particularly fraught period in the late ’70s in Miles Davis’ life, it can never be said that Cheadle hasn’t given everything he has to the film. In addition to stepping into the legendary jazz musician’s complicated shoes, Cheadle also directed the film, co-wrote it with Steven Baigelman, and even contributed to some of the film’s original musical arrangements. That’s to say nothing of him learning how to play the trumpet, in order to do proper justice to Davis’ work as authentically as possible.”

Cheadle spent eight years learning to play the trumpet, according to a story in The Vulture. He also took boxing lessons, as it was a passion of Davis, even though the boxing scenes are very brief.

The film is a loose interpretation of the life of Miles Davis. It could be considered as more an artistic rendering. Don Cheadle said, “What’s true is the spirit, what’s ‘real’ is that it’s truly Miles Davis–esque.

“I just thought that a movie about this person needed to be as mercurial and unexpected and improvisational as his music was. As opposed to a movie that’s, like, checking off all the boxes about Miles Davis’s life.”

The film’s New York premiere on Wednesday was attended by some big Hollywood names, according to Daily Mail. The media made much of co-star Ewan McGregor’s daughter, Clara, who accompanied her dad and his plaid trousers to the screening. McGregor plays a Rolling Stone writer in the film, who conspires with Davis on his comeback.

Also in attendance were Willem Dafoe, Spike Lee, Olivia Palermo, and another of the film’s co-stars, actress Emayatzy Corinealdi.

Miles Ahead will be released on a limited basis in New York and Los Angeles on April 1. The movie will screen in Greater Cincinnati theaters on April 15.

[Image via Christophe Ena/Associated Press]