Following Miles Ahead’s New York Film Festival premiere on Sunday, the first clip of Don Cheadle as the legendary jazz musician has hit the web. The biopic, which Cheadle also directed, focuses on Miles Davis’ return to music after disappearing from the public in the late ’70s. This first look shows Cheadle, as Davis, collaborating with Gil Evans (Jeffrey Grover) at rehearsal and showing off his musicianship.
While the film will uses Miles Davis’ real recordings, Cheadle did learn the instrument for parts of the movie. “The trumpet is a very unforgiving instrument,” explained Cheadle to EW last year. “If you don’t play it every day, it fights back. It hasn’t been, I’d say, until the last year that I’ve been playing consistently.”
The film will also tell the story of how a Rolling Stone writer (played by Ewan McGregor) helped the artist reclaim the rights to his music. But first, as another released clip (above) shows, Davis took some time to warm up to the music writer. “OK. I was born,” said Cheadle’s Davis in a terse response to the writer’s question about his past. ” I moved to New York, met some cats, made some music, did some dope, made some more music. Then, you came to my house.”
The release — which also delves into Davis’ relationship with his first wife Frances Taylor (played by Emayatzy Corinealdi) — will certainly be an emotional one for Cheadle. The actor initially crowd-funded the period film before Sony Pictures Classics picked it up (the studio hasn’t yet announced a wide release date). The actor explained to EW in a separate interview that the initial crowd-funding effort “felt like a good way to open him up back to the public and try to raise that awareness and use the social mediums to make this a social event.”