The Miles Davis Movie: Who is going to play John Coltrane?

A film like “Ray” featured other, notable figures that orbited around the great artist’s life, and Lord knows Miles Davis was connected to a host of celebrated musicians and other folks of distinction (good and bad), so there should no doubt be a long list of supporting roles that will be vital in the biopic.

So… who should play John Coltrane?

I mention Coltrane because I like John Coltrane. Feel free to offer actor and actress suggestions for other roles sure to be spotlighted in the Miles Davis movie.

I guess they could ask Forrest Whitaker to reprise his role as Charlie Parker, but maybe that’s a bit trite.

They could go the unknown route and cast someone we’ve never heard of, which I guess would be fine as I am not expecting the cast to be start-studded from top to bottom. It’s not “Ocean’s 11.”

Off the top of my head I like the actors Isaiah Washington, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mekhi Phifer and Delroy Lindo – but I don’t know if any of them scream John Coltrane. I’m sure I’m forgetting many others, but I’m just riffin’ here.

What about Harry J. Lennix? I know, it’s enough already with the “Ray” movie!

He is a good actor, though. I’m a fan.

Look, the John Coltrane character might only be on screen for 5 minutes, but it’s still an important part!

And whether or not musicians from the First and Second Great Quintets (besides Coltrane) will be featured prominently remains to be seen, yet one would have to imagine the likes of Charlie Parker, George Avakian, Gil Evans and Cicely Tyson would need to make an appearance in any biopic of Miles Davis.

They decided to have Larenz Tate play Quincy Jones in “Ray,” so clearly finding a John Coltrane isn’t impossible.

I’ll be interested to see if any notable talent attachments pop up in the news, or maybe it’s still too early in the process. Or, perhaps, the producers plan to keep it stocked with unknowns, leaving Cheadle as the A-lister.

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6 thoughts on “The Miles Davis Movie: Who is going to play John Coltrane?”

  1. @Emily

    I can see Denzel in the role of Coltrane as well. That’d be a great cameo/supporting role for someone like Denzel Washington. It ups the star power, along with Cheadle, that’s for sure…

  2. Denzel Washington as John Coltrane gets my vote. There are just such a large number of individuals in the life of Miles Davis, it must be tough deciding what in a biopic on him to leave out and consequently who to include; the entire structure of such a film, just too much detail!! God’s tooth!

    Who’s good for Herbie Hancock? Can you imagine a scene of a live performance of Bitches Brew? Yow!

    Oh, man. I just came across your blog only yesterday, and it’s like I cannot wait for more info on this film and the buildup to its arrival on the big screen. A surface search on Google doesn’t turn anything up, really, though it does lead back to your blog. I will be a frequent return visitor, so sorry in advance if my comments start to become redundant.

  3. I’ve always thought Denzel Washington looked like John Coltrane a bit, but I doubt he’d sign up unless it was a big part.. maybe a John Coltrane film

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