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Don Cheadle Finally Gets His Miles Davis Biopic Off The Ground

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The actor Don Cheadle will make his directorial debut with “Kill The Trumpet Player,” a biopic of the legendary contrarian and jazz musician Miles Davisaccording 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.

—Craig Hubert

Image: Tom Palumbo/Wikimedia Commons

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  1. He quite for more like 6.5 years, becasuse of coke and burnout. he came bakc playg rest and his sound more burnished than ever, competing with teh classiscally overdone Wynton Marsalis as to who ws #1, but never had the great cohorts of Trane, Hancock, Shorter and so many others. Music isn’ as intense or spiritually impulsive as it used to b, and so rather inept now. $$$ is everything.
    Cheadle sure is teh right size, and can get beneath the anger Miles rightfully had. He was very feminine to Trane’s masculine, though like all great artists were deep in both. Matisse to Trane and Birds Picasso

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