When news came forth that veteran actor Don Cheadle was set to direct and star in the Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead, there was an enormous buzz around the film. Fans eagerly anticipating the film can satiate some of their curiosity as the first trailer for Miles Ahead was released today (Feb. 2).
Entertainment Weekly exclusively reported on the film, which Cheadle was obviously born to play. As the article notes, Davis’ nephew, Vince Wilburn, pegged the actor to play his uncle during the posthumous 2006 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of the jazz giant. Cheadle sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk more about the film, which made its debut in 2015 during the New York Film Festival.
From Entertainment Weekly:
For a directorial debut, this is pretty tall order. Did you always see this story as one you wanted to direct?
No, and when it first came to me, it was just something for me to act in. When I met with [Miles’] family, I told them I wanted to do something that wasn’t like I had seen before, and I had a take on the movie, that if I was going to play him, that it had to be as creative and different, that if it wasn’t as aspirational as he was, then I wasn’t really that interested. And before I got to my house after that meeting, it kind of came to me that that would be hard for anyone else possibly to see it the same way that I was seeing it, so if I was going to do it, I’d probably have to direct it. And as I was calling them, they were kind of calling me to say the same thing.
Miles had this huge life, this huge career, this huge personality. How did you decide to frame his life and focus on what you did? Because so many music biopics fall victim to familiar tropes.
I had seen other films that have done it — because I’ve been a part of several of them, by the way. Biopics, where I guess you could say tropes; I would say they’re also just signposts you have to hit along the way. When you set out to make a biopic, the purpose, whether stated or not, is usually to hit the highlights or lowlights of someone’s life in order to crescendo at the end. It is trope, I guess that’s the word. But I thought, especially with someone like Miles Davis, whose life seemed to very antithetical to that, and whose art was so mercurial and spontaneous and not dedicated to any sort of form that he had done before. He went on to the next thing and he kind of never looked back. I thought it would really be totally anathema to him to do something that felt standard, so to speak.
Watch the exclusive trailer for Miles Ahead in the clip below.
Photo: screen cap