Don Cheadle‘s directorial debut, Miles Ahead, has been a passion project for the great actor for some time now, and right before its premiere at New York Film Festival last year, Sony Pictures Classics picked up the biopic for an April 1st release in the states. Before its national bow, it will also play the Berlin Film Festival in the coming weeks. And now we have an official trailer for the film, which tracks jazz pioneer Miles Davis’ (Cheadle) fight to own his music and his relationship with Rolling Stone journalist David Brill (Ewan McGregor). The film also stars Michael Stuhlbarg and Emayatzy Corinealdi, who made a name for herself as the lead in Ava Duvernay‘s lovely Middle of Nowhere. Though it seems to follow the trajectory of a biopic, there’s a sense that Cheadle, like Davis, has something a bit more improvisational and strange in mind. You can check out the trailer right below:
Here’s the official synopsis of Miles Ahead from Sony Pictures Classics:
MILES AHEAD is a wildly entertaining and moving exploration of one of 20th century music’s creative geniuses, Miles Davis, featuring a career defining performance by Oscar nominee Don Cheadle in the title role. Working from a script he co-wrote with Steven Baigelman, Cheadle’s bravura directorial debut is not a conventional bio-pic but rather a unique, no-holds barred portrait of a singular artist in crisis.
In the midst of a dazzling and prolific career at the forefront of modern jazz innovation, Miles Davis (Cheadle) virtually disappears from public view for a period of five years in the late 1970s. Alone and holed up in his home, he is beset by chronic pain from a deteriorating hip, his musical voice stifled and numbed by drugs and pain medications, his mind haunted by unsettling ghosts from the past.
A wily music reporter, Dave Braden (Ewan McGregor) forces his way into Davis’ house and, over the next couple of days, the two men unwittingly embark on a wild and sometimes harrowing adventure to recover a stolen tape of the musician’s latest compositions. Davis’ mercurial behavior is fueled by memories of his failed marriage to the talented and beautiful dancer Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi). During their romance and subsequent marriage, Frances served as Davis’ muse. It was during this period that he released several of his signature recordings including the groundbreaking “Sketches of Spain” and “Someday My Prince Will Come.”
The idyll however, was short lived. The eight-year marriage was marked by infidelity and abuse, and Frances was forced to flee for her own safety as Miles’ mental and physical health deteriorated.
By the late ’70s, plagued by years of regret and loss, Davis flirts with annihilation until he once again finds salvation in his art.