The Miles Davis Movie: Let’s Look At This Thing From A Standpoint Of Status

Not much has changed since late December when Don Cheadle opened up to the Wall Street Journal about the state of the Miles Davis Movie. It was a nice slab of red meat to chew on as we wait for the project to pick up steam.

Sure, no one still has a clue what he means when he calls the movie ‘a gangster pic’, but that just adds to the fun!

Cheadle has been nice enough to clear things up about the film’s narrative, which will not be a typical, cradle-to-grave story, rather a ‘cubist’ approach. It’s all about the Deconstructed Biopic, which I wrote about a few years back on the biopic blog.

The movie, as it stands, takes place in late 1979 and covers “a day and a half of his life — a very intense day and a half of his life…”, which is how Cheadle explained it to almost a year ago.

It seems the film will still pinpoint other, notable points in the jazz legend’s life and career. This is good, especially if we are to have scenes of Cheadle performing as Davis, because in 1979 Miles was not playing much.

One thing Cheadle mentions in the WSJ interview is a ‘studio offer’.

“We’re trying to back into a budget number,” says Cheadle, “like we always have to do, without gutting the piece.”

He doesn’t mention the studio, or any of the folks involved. As far as I can tell nothing has happened with the studio deal. Perhaps it fell apart, or maybe everyone is just waiting for the right time to spill the details.

Cheadle looks to be as committed as ever to the project, but his dance card is full these days with a Showtime series, the Iron Man movies, and other projects in development. Scheduling was always going to be an issue, regardless of when the Miles Davis Movie finally was given the green light — green for money.

Even with the competing biopic, with George Tillman Jr. attached to direct, what gives the Cheadle project the edge is Cheadle himself, still the best choice to play Miles Davis among known acting talent, and access to all the music. Sure, maybe a few years here and there are out of reach, but all the big tunes, the music that fans demand be included in the film, and will also help market the hell out of this picture, is Cheadle’s for the taking. The Cheadle/music catalog connection is what will drive this project forward, hopefully towards a production start date.

I know what amounts to nothing, so I am clueless as to the current status of the project. But that 2013 next to the film listed on IMDB is starting to feel like a long-shot. I’d guess 2014 is more likely.


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