The actor Don Cheadle will make his directorial debut with “Kill The Trumpet Player,” a biopic of the legendary contrarian and jazz musician Miles Davis, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Cheadle will also be taking the lead role. Joining him will be Zoe Saldana, who will play Frances Davis, Miles’s former wife (a formidable creative spirit in her own right, who graced the cover of his albums “Someday My Prince Will Come” and “ESP”), and Ewen McGregor, who will play a Rolling Stone reporter — possibly Robert Palmer? — who conspires with Davis to “steal back his music” after he stopped playing trumpet for nearly three years in the late 1970s. Cheadle has been trying to get the film off the ground for a number of years, and his enthusiasm for the project has caused some ribbing from his friends.
In a recent Esquire magazine cover story about George Clooney, the reporter recounts a prank the actor pulled on Cheadle: “As long as Cheadle has been acting, he has dreamt of playing Miles Davis. So the letter informed Cheadle that [Brad] Pitt’s production company had acquired the rights to Davis’s life story. The letter said that Pitt wanted him to star in it. As Charlie Parker.” Herbie Hancock, who played with Davis in his famous mid-’60s quintet, will reportedly participate in the film to some extent, along with the Miles’s children, Cheryl and Erin Davis.
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