The Miles Davis Movie: What Are Your Expectations?

milesdavis2.jpg I’m re-posting this entry that I wrote just about one year ago for the Biopic Blog. It’s a year later and we’re no closer to cameras rolling on the Miles Davis Movie.

Don Cheadle did mention the project recently while at Comic-Con, but this baby is on a slow burn. It’s frustrating on a purely ‘Miles Davis fan’ level, but I’m still confident this film will get made.

The project has been bouncing around for so long between writers, actors and producers it’s become a story unto itself about the efforts to get this biopic produced.

Anyway… here is a post from last year about expectations. I feel the same a year later. My expectations are very high. I firmly believe the subject demands the very best the craft of movie-making has to offer.

The Miles Davis Movie: What are your expectations?

For me, I’ll say high, very high.


I want the Miles Davis movie to be a classic. I want the film to be a critical success as well as a box office champ. No, we’re not talking “Dark Knight” numbers, but solid box office in the U.S. and abroad.

I want Don Cheadle to be nominated for an Oscar. I want the film to be nominated in multiple categories.

I have set my expectations high for the acting, directing and writing, the lighting and costume design, the cinematography and the damn catering table.

I want to see photos and video clips of Miles Davis splashed across TV and computer screens. I want to see respectable magazines run profound essays on the legacy of Miles Davis and his impact on culture in America.

I want to see record sales get even better. I want to see iTunes numbers go through the roof for Miles Davis mp3s.

I want people to be excited about the movie. I want people to be excited about jazz. I want Stanley Crouch to chime in.

The soundtrack should be terrific. The official website should be great.

The movie poster should be awesome.

I want the Miles Davis biopic to be an Official Selection at mega film festivals in Cannes and Sundance, Toronto, Telluride and Berlin.

I want people to be excited about Miles Davis. He was part saint, part sinner, but his story is remarkable. His impact on ‘music’ is legendary.

I want to see a good review in The New Yorker. I want to see Don Cheadle on Charlie Rose.

I want the DVD to be full of cool extras, interesting commentary and awesome deleted scenes.

Yes, I have high expectations for the Miles Davis movie.

I’m curious to know what other Miles Davis/movie fans think. Will it make an impact – in the movie/media sense, not on the world! –, or does it come and go, lost in a sea of entertainment content? Will it be more successful overseas?

Is independent style better than Hollywood blockbuster style? Or perhaps something in the middle. Should it be more like “Ray,” or more like “I’m Not There?”

Are you expecting greatness, or hoping it’s entertaining enough? Are you worried it’s going to be ‘a rental,’ or are you confident you’ll have to see more than once (like that same day!)?

Is the Miles Davis story even filmable? Can anyone ever ‘get it right’ in the end?

Is it one of those stories that 2 1/2 hours on the big screen just cannot do it justice?

Is there a broad enough audience for the film? Would it be better as a Ken Burns documentary?

A 5-part doc on PBS would not suck.

It’s just a movie. But for some (me!) it’s finally a chance to see the life of Miles Davis produced for the big screen. It’s long overdue, but no time like the present.

Would Miles even want a biopic if he were here today? If he were alive and he wanted a biopic it’d be done already.

My expectations are high, very high. And the waiting is killing me.


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