Cheadle’s ingenious directorial debut stars the House of Lies actor as legend Miles Davis during his self-imposed five-year exile in the late 1970s.
Holed up in his Manhattan apartment, wracked with pain from a variety of ailments and fiending for the next check from his record company, dodging sycophants and industry executives, he is haunted by memories of old glories and humiliations and of his years with his great love Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi).
Co-written by Cheadle with Steven Baigelman, Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson, Miles Ahead also stars Ewan McGregor as Dave Brill, the “reporter” who cons his way into Davis’ apartment; Jeffrey Grover (The Signal / The Kings of Summer) as Gil Evans, the arranger for Davis’ 1957 album Miles Ahead; Michael Stuhlbarg (Hugo / Seven Psychopaths) as corrupt record producer Harper Hamilton; and Lakeith Lee Stanfield (NWA / Short Term 12) as a young trumpeter.
Acquired by Sony Pictures Classics after it was scheduled to close the 2015 New York Film Festival, the film will hit U.S. theaters on April 1, 2016.
Last month, Cheadle won “Directors to Watch” for the film at the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Miles Ahead was produced by Cheadle, Pamela Hirsch, Lenore Zerman, Daniel Wagner, Robert Barnum, Vince Willburn and Daryl Porter for Bifrost Pictures, Crescendo Productions, Naked City Films, and Sobini Films. Icon Film Distribution will distribute in the UK sometime this year.
The film’s soundtrack was helmed by Herbie Hancock, who played in Davis’ Second Quintet.