Don Cheadle was not looking to play Miles Davis. He had done biopics before, starring as Sammy Davis Jr. in “The Rat Pack” (1998), which earned him a Golden Globe, and as the hotelier and accidental humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina in the 2004 film “Hotel Rwanda,” for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
Mr. Cheadle had played the street hoops star Earl Manigault, a.k.a. the Goat, in “Rebound” and the radio D.J. Petey Greene in “Talk to Me”.
Source: The New York Times