Sony Pictures Classics has acquired worldwide rights to Don Cheadle’s directorial debut “Miles Ahead,” in which the “Iron Man 3” actor stars as jazz trumpeter and songwriter Miles Davis, the company announced Wednesday.
“Miles Ahead” tells the story of a few lost days in the life of Davis, the virtuoso, fighter and genius, as he bursts out of his silent period, conspires with a Rolling Stone writer (Ewan McGregor) to steal back his music and relives the years he had with his great love, Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi).
Financed by BiFrost Pictures, the film was recently announced as this year’s Closing Night selection for the 53rd New York Film Festival.
Written by Steven Baigelman and Cheadle, “Miles Ahead” also stars Michael Stuhlbarg (“Steve Jobs”) and Keith Stanfield (“Straight Outta Compton”).
Cheadle, Lenore Zerman, Pamela Hirsch, Daniel Wagner, Robert Ogden Barnum, Darryl Porter and Vince Wilburn, Jr. produced the film, which was executive produced by Mark Amin, Jonathan Gardner, Brian Pope and Baigelman.
Davis’ son, Erin Davis, and daughter, Cheryl Davis, are also executive producers, as the film was made with the participation of The Miles Davis Estate.
“Miles was many things … a supreme artist and a national treasure but also an enigma to those around him, especially during his so-called quiet period,” Cheadle said. “With the family’s blessing and Miles’ tenets on creativity as our guide, we used these cloistered years as a jumping off point to compose the story of a self-exiled artist creating his own ‘centrifugal adventure’ to spin himself back into playing music again. And now I’m delighted that we’ve found the perfect partners in Michael, Tom and the SPC team to take this journey with us.”
Sony Pictures Classics said in a statement: “What Don Cheadle has done here with the spirit of Miles Davis is truly astounding. We are not only witnessing for the first time this part of Miles Davis’ story as it deserves to be told, but also the birth of a major film director who happens to portray the iconic musician n a jaw dropping performance. This movie will be embraced by audiences everywhere and we are so pleased to help make that happen.”
The deal was negotiated by SPC with UTA Independent Film Group, which arranged the financing and represented the filmmakers in the deal. IM Global handled pre-sales in multiple territories, including Portugal, Switzerland, UK, Ex-Yugoslavia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Israel and the Middle East.