As a writer this is a topic very near and dear to my heart. As the old theatre cliché’ goes, “if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage!” And while the film business is mostly a directors’ medium, the screenwriter and script still plays an essential part of the movie-making process.
Yes, there are plenty of movies in theatres that give audiences the impression that no one even bothered to hire a screenwriter, but in the best scenarios, the script presents the ideal foundation for a director’s vision and we, as movie fans, are rewarded with something memorable on the big screen.
Be it from pen, typewriter or computer screen, talented screenwriters have provided us memorable characters and classic dialogue – two features sure to be part of the Miles Davis biopic.
Between adapting the life story of Muhammad Ali for Michael Mann’s “Ali” and writing the script for Oliver Stone’s “Nixon” – two, ‘big’ movies – I am confident these two can handle the scope of a Miles Davis project. And having already penned two movies based on legendary figures doesn’t hurt at all.
According to IMDB the duo are also on tap for what is being called the “Untitled Jackie Robinson Project,” so clearly these guys are on a lot of Hollywood execs’ rolodexes for writing a biopic.
This all bodes well for the Miles Davis movie.
An aside: On Chris Wilkinson’s IMDB page there is an entry for “The Miles Davis Documentary,” which is listed as a TV project for 2008. It says to be still ‘in production,’ but I’m a little fuzzy on the details. I checked the always informative official Miles Davis website and there wasn’t anything reported.
There are numerous parts of the Miles Davis biopic puzzle we could discuss as being more important than others, but the script is definitely at the top somewhere. I’m not sure if even a first draft has been finished, but no doubt it’s going to be the groundwork in bringing the ‘character’ of Miles Davis to life on the big screen.