The “House of Lies” star is making his feature directorial debut with the anti-biopic, which co-stars Ewan McGregor
“Short Term 12” star Keith Stanfield has landed the third lead alongside Don Cheadle and Ewan McGregor in the Miles Davis movie “Miles Ahead,” which will serve as Cheadle's feature directorial debut, an individual familiar with the indie project has told TheWrap.
Rather than a traditional biopic, “Miles Ahead” chronicles a few dangerous days in Davis’ life as the jazz icon (Cheadle) teams with a Rolling Stone journalist (McGregor) to hunt down a stolen recording intended to reignite his career.
Stanfield will play Junior, an edgy but impressionable trumpet player involved in the theft.
A co-production between Cheadle's Crescendo Productions and financier BiFrost Pictures, the period picture will start production next month in Cincinnati. The project also boasts the support of Davis’ estate.
Cheadle co-wrote the script with Steven Baigelman, and he's also producing with his Crescendo partner Lenore Zerman and BiFrost's Daniel Wagner and Robert Ogden Barnum, as well as Darryl Porter and Vince Wilburn Jr. Baigelman and Cassian Elwes will executive produce with Pamela Hirsch, Cheryl Davis and Erin Davis, while musician Herbie Hancock, who collaborated with Davis, will also be involved as music supervisor.
Cheadle has put his own money into the project, which he has been trying to get made for seven years. He's currently in the midst of raising additional funds via Indiegogo to help recreate the different time periods depicted in the script and secure certain music rights. He's asking for $325,000 and so far, the project has raised $146,000.
UTA packaged Cheadle's passion project and is handling U.S. rights. IM Global is handling international distribution.
Stanfield, whose breakout performance in “Short Term 12” earned him roles in “The Purge: Anarchy” and a pair of James Franco projects — “Memoria” and “American History.” He recently wrapped Ava DuVernay's MLK movie “Selma” for Paramount and producers Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt.
Stanfield is represented by Innovative Artists, IAM Entertainment and Ginsburg Daniels.
Watch Cheadle's Indiegogo pitch below.