Cheadle’s Directorial Debut in Miles Davis Film


After years of trying to get a Miles Davis biopic off the ground, Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle will pull double duty, making his directorial debut as well as starring in the upcoming film, Kill the Trumpet Player.

The film tells the story of a few dangerous days in the life of Miles Davis, the virtuoso, fighter and genius, as he bursts out of his silent period and conspires with a Rolling Stone writer (Ewan McGregor) to steal back his music. Zoe Saldana will play Frances Davis, the trumpet player’s former wife.

Cheadle will direct the film, and play Davis, from a script co-written with Steven Baigelman. Herbie Hancock, a legend in his own right and close collaborator of Davis, will participate in the project as well.

BiForest Films principal and financier Daniel Wagner commented, “Don is one of our generation’s greatest actors, and this is the role he was born to play. His take on the conventional biopic of one of music’s most celebrated icons is cinematic “jazz” and too unique to resist. It fits naturally with BiFrost’s commitment to support talent and their passion projects, so we are thrilled to work with Don on his feature directorial debut.”

A musical titan, Davis is widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, and with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion. Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and was noted as “one of the key figures in the history of jazz”.

In addition to his current Golden Globe-winning role as Marty Kaan on Showtime’s House of Lies, Cheadle is best known for roles in Crash, Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, as well as for his Academy Award-nominated performance as Best Actor in Hotel Rwanda. He has most recently been seen as Colonel James Rhodes in Iron Man 3.