Regina King’s Feature Film Directorial Debut ‘One Night in Miami’ Acquired by Amazon

Film follows a young Muhammad Ali the night he upset Sonny Liston and celebrated with Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown

One Night in Miami
Amazon Studios

Amazon Studios has acquired worldwide rights to Oscar-winning actress Regina King’s feature film directorial debut, “One Night in Miami.”

“Amazon’s enthusiasm for ‘One Night in Miami’ is both humbling and exciting,” King said in a statement. “I am honored to have them as partners on my feature film directorial debut.”

The film was written by Olivier-nominated Kemp Powers and is based on his 2013 stage play. It follows a young Muhammad Ali (when he still went by Cassius Clay) on the night of February 25, 1964 as he emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center as the new World Heavyweight Boxing Champion after defeating Sonny Liston.

The film follows Ali — unable to stay on the island because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws — as he spends the night at the Hampton House Motel in one of Miami’s historically black neighborhoods celebrating with three of his closest friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown. The next morning, the four men emerge determined to define a new world for themselves and their people.

In “One Night in Miami,” Powers explores what happened during these pivotal hours through the dynamic relationship between the four men and the way their friendship, paired with their shared struggles, fueled their path to becoming the civil rights icons they are today.

“One Night in Miami beautifully captures a significant moment in history when these great minds gathered and ultimately helped shape the conversation of what we know today as the civil rights movement,” Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said in a statement. “Regina King is a force of nature – mastering her craft in front of the camera as we’ve seen in her extensive body of work, and now taking her talent behind the camera. We’re so proud to welcome Regina and Kemp to the Amazon family.”

Amazon plans to release “One Night in Miami” later in the year with an eye towards the awards corridor. ABKCO, which was the record label for Sam Cooke, will release the official “One Night in Miami” original soundtrack album in conjunction with the film.

Producers on the film are Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder of Snoot Entertainment (“Blindspotting,” “Anomalisa”) and Jody Klein of ABKCO, while King and Powers will serve as executive producers.

Powers also co-wrote Pixar’s upcoming animated feature “Soul,” staring the voice of Jamie Foxx as a musician who’s lost his passion for music and after being transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.

ICM Partners represents King and negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. King is also represented by attorney Nina Shaw and managed by John Carrabino.