Don Cheadle Says His Miles Davis Movie Isn’t a “Biopic, Per Se. It’s a Gangster Pic”; Studio in Talks to Pick up the Project

     January 2, 2012


In November, we reported that Notorious director George Tillman Jr. would be helming a biopic about legendary jazz musician Miles DavisDon Cheadle is also at work developing his own Davis project and he has provided some new details about his movie.  Cheadle says of his film:

“It’s not a biopic, per se. It’s a gangster pic. It’s a movie that Miles Davis would have wanted to star in. Without throwing history away, we’re trying to shuffle it and make it more cubist.”

Hit the jump for more on this intriguing and welcome take on a Davis biopic.

Here’s the full quote of what Cheadle told The Wall Street Journal [via Shadow and Act] about the untitled movie:

We have a studio offer and we’re trying to back into a budget number, like we always have to do, without gutting the piece. […] It’s not a biopic, per se. It’s a gangster pic. It’s a movie that Miles Davis would have wanted to star in. Without throwing history away, we’re trying to shuffle it and make it more cubist. The bulk of it takes place in ’79, in a period where he actually wasn’t playing. But we traverse a lot of it his life, but it’s not a cradle to grave story…

This is a smart way to go about the project.  First off, it will be different from what Tillman is doing, which sounds like the “cradle to grave story” that will hit the same notes as other music biopics.  More importantly, Cheadle’s take sounds similar to the Bob Dylan biopic I’m Not There in that it’s going to explore a musician’s life by taking an indirect route.  It’s an unconventional approach, but it can draw an audience deeper into understanding a person’s life whereas the cradle-to-grave story can come off like reading a Wikipedia page.


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