Regina King to make directing debut with One Night in Miami adaptation

Not long after delivering a powerhouse performance as Angela Abar / Sister Night for HBO's WATCHMEN, it's been announced that scene-stealing actress Regina King will soon be making her directorial debut with ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI. The film is an adaptation of the Olivier-nominated stage play by Kemp Powers, who wrote the script. Production has already begun in New Orleans, with Kingsley Ben-Adir (HIGH FIDELITY, PEAKY BLINDERS) starring as civil rights activist Malcolm X, Eli Gorre (RIVERDALE, THE 100) as Cassius Clay prior to him becomming Muhammad Ali, Aldis Hodge (HIDDEN FIGURES, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON) as football legend Jim Brown, and Grammy and Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. (MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, SMASH) playing American singer, songwriter, civil rights activist and entrepreneur Sam Cooke.

Word of the project arrived exclusively via Deadline on Tuesday afternoon. The site also provided an in-depth synopsis of the story, which reads as follows:

Set on the night of February 25, 1964, the drama follows the brash young Cassius Clay after he shocked the world by knocking out seemingly invincible Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion. While crowds of people swarm Miami Beach to celebrate the match, Clay – unable to stay on the island because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws – spends the evening at the Hampton House Motel in Miami’s African American Overtown neighborhood celebrating with three of his closest friends: Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown. All of them were beginning to assert themselves in the Civil Rights movement and the empowerment of black people, and it was an evening to share their thoughts with each other on their responsibility to use their influence and stature to benefit the black community. By night’s end, they leave each other determined to define a new world.

One Night in Miami is a love letter to black manhood that powerfully explores themes of race, identity and friendship,” said King about the subject for her directorial debut. “Each of them has contributed so much to culture and history. We’re so excited to have Kingsley, Eli, Aldis and Leslie in the lead roles showing a different side of these iconic men.”

The play was originally staged in 2013, and imagines what had transpired between the iconic figures listed above as they celebrated Clay's victory on that fateful night. In time, Clay, X, Cooke, and Brown each went on to become some of the most influential figures throughout all of history, and now the inspiring story of their friendship is to be immortalized on the big screen for generations to come. In addition to directing the film, King will also executive produce with Powers. Meanwhile, Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder of Snoot Entertainment and Jody Klein of ABKCO will produce.

We'll be sure to bring you more updates as this exciting and potentially very powerful project comes together.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.