Don Cheadle, one of Hollywood’s most dynamic talents, makes his directorial debut this year in Miles Ahead, the story of legendary jazz musician Miles Davis.
Cheadle never expected to direct the film, but after meeting with Davis’ family, he knew no one could tell the story of the troubled musician like he could.
“When I met with [Miles’] family, I told them I wanted to do something that wasn’t like I had seen before, and I had a take on the movie, that if I was going to play him, that it had to be as creative and different, that if it wasn’t as aspirational as he was, then I wasn’t really that interested,” he explained in an interview with EW. “And before I got to my house after that meeting, it kind of came to me that that would be hard for anyone else possibly to see it the same way that I was seeing it, so if I was going to do it, I’d probably have to direct it.”
Cheadle spent years and invested a large chunk of his own money into the project, before turning to crowdfunding to raise the rest of the money to finish the film because he said, “Most studios don’t make these kinds of movies anymore, so we are doing it independently.”
The result is a possible 2017 Oscar contender and a necessary film about one of music’s most interesting figures.
Miles Ahead hits theaters April 1. Check out the trailer below.