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Don Cheadle to direct Ewan McGregor and Zoe Saldana in the Miles Davis biopic Kill the Trumpet Player

11.13.2013

After years of trying to get a film about Miles Davis made, Don Cheadle will star and make his directorial debut with KILL THE TRUMPET PLAYER. The film picks up additional talent in Ewan McGregor and Zoe Saldana. The screenplay was written by Cheadle along with Steven Baigelman. Cheadle has been linked to the film going back to 2006 and it is just now getting off the ground. At one point there was a film about Davis being developed by NOTORIOUS director George Tillman Jr. Cheadle was not involved in that project.

Here's the brief synopsis for the film:

KILL THE TRUMPET PLAYER centers on a few dangerous days in the life of Miles Davis (Cheadle), as he bursts out of his silent period and conspires with a Rolling Stone writer (McGregor) to steal back his music.

Miles Davis is an icon in music with his varied styles of jazz through his career. The man had a tumultuous life involving all sorts of conflicts involving race, drugs, and more. Don Cheadle, however, does not like the term biopic in relation to KILL THE TRUMPET PLAYER.

"Let's kill that term, OK? I hope with this film we can kill the biopic. This film won't try to give a broad overview of Davis' life and give short shrift to this man's story," he said at the time. "For us as creative people, the time of his life that was most interesting was the five years when he wasn't playing, when he was silent. What was going on in his mind? And how did he come out of it and return to music?"

While a traditional biopic would have a lot of material to draw from in Miles Davis' life, I like the idea of focusing on just a particular moment in his life. Not to short-change films like WALK THE LINE or RAY, but they are very by the numbers movies that hit the right notes. Cheadle could turn in a project that will be a big awards contender or at the very least an interesting experiment with the genre.

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11:59PM on 11/13/2013

I can see this working very well

Don Cheadle's a great actor who isn't a marquee name, so people won't automatically look at him and go, "That's Don Cheadle playing Miles Davis." He's also good enough that he can disappear into the role.

With the right script, and Cheadle having enough directing chops, this could be a great film.
Don Cheadle's a great actor who isn't a marquee name, so people won't automatically look at him and go, "That's Don Cheadle playing Miles Davis." He's also good enough that he can disappear into the role.

With the right script, and Cheadle having enough directing chops, this could be a great film.
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10:29PM on 11/13/2013
Cheadle is a great actor and actually kinda looks like Miles. Could be great.
Cheadle is a great actor and actually kinda looks like Miles. Could be great.
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10:22PM on 11/13/2013
Can easily see Cheadle disappearing into the role.
Can easily see Cheadle disappearing into the role.
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9:36PM on 11/13/2013
when i first read the title of this article, i wasn't sure if cheadle was only directing, and ewan mcgregor was actually playing miles davis. that would have been crazy. like, oscar-level crazy.
when i first read the title of this article, i wasn't sure if cheadle was only directing, and ewan mcgregor was actually playing miles davis. that would have been crazy. like, oscar-level crazy.
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8:43PM on 11/13/2013

Celebrities Gotta Stop Doing This

I like Don Cheadle, think he's a great actor and all but well known celebrities need to stop starring in biopics because they'd be just too distracting. No one's going to see Miles Davis, they're going to see Don Cheadle. Leonardo DiCaprio is another actor who needs to stop doing biopics. It's very admirable they want to stretch as actors but they should stay away from biopics.
I like Don Cheadle, think he's a great actor and all but well known celebrities need to stop starring in biopics because they'd be just too distracting. No one's going to see Miles Davis, they're going to see Don Cheadle. Leonardo DiCaprio is another actor who needs to stop doing biopics. It's very admirable they want to stretch as actors but they should stay away from biopics.
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9:31PM on 11/13/2013
yeah. they should have gotten some no-name over daniel day lewis in lincoln too. i mean, "professional lincoln impersonator" is an actual job out there.
yeah. they should have gotten some no-name over daniel day lewis in lincoln too. i mean, "professional lincoln impersonator" is an actual job out there.
8:42PM on 11/13/2013
Finally! Good luck to you Cheadle!
Finally! Good luck to you Cheadle!
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