NOTORIOUS Director George Tillman Jr. to Helm Miles Davis Biopic

     November 9, 2011


Director George Tillman Jr. (Faster) will develop and helm a biopic based on the life of legendary jazz musician Miles Davis.  Davis was a major force in the music world for almost fifty years and he collaborated with other jazz legends like Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Gil Evans, and Thelonious Monk.  Tentatively titled Miles, the movie will be loosely based on book Dark Magus: The Jekyll and Hyde Life of Miles Davis written by Davis’ eldest son, Gregory.  Gregory Davis will consult on the movie, and the filmmakers will further develop Isaac Fergusson‘s original draft of the screenplay.  Like pretty much every famous musician of the 20th century, Davis was heavily into drugs.  However, he managed to break his addiction and influence other musicians until his death in 1991.

Hit the jump for more on the project.

Co-producer Nick Davis Raynes provided THR with a discouraging quote about his intentions for the movie:

“Our intention is to make a feature film that will appeal beyond the worldwide audience of Miles Davis die-hard fans, to also include those who don’t know the first thing about the man, and introduce new ears to his music,” said Raynes. “In much the same way that Walk The Line and Ray were able to open the world’s eyes to the life stories of Johnny Cash and Ray Charles, respectively, we want to make a film that will do the same justice for Miles Davis. Miles, in his fifty-year career as a musician, transcends time, space and race.”

Yes, our eyes were all opened to a generic and bland biopics using a tired rise-fall-redemption plot structure.

Don Cheadle has been trying to direct, produce, and star in a Davis biopic since playing the musician in the 1998 HBO film The Rat Pack [Correction: Cheadle played Miles Davis, Jr.]  I would much rather take a chance on Cheadle’s directorial debut than see a movie from Tillman who already delivered a forgettable biopic with his Notorious B.I.G. movie, Notorious.  When you pair the hackneyed story arc with Tillman’s unremarkable past work, Miles sounds like a movie that the musician’s fans should regard with great skepticism.


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