Kill The Trumpet Player finds Cheadle portraying jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, and will mark the actors first gig as a director. The picture will focus on “a few dangerous days in the life of Miles Davis, as he bursts out of his silent period and conspires with a Rolling Stone writer to steal back his music.”
Ewan McGregor will play the Rolling Stone jour no, while Star Trek hottie Zoe Saldana will play Davis’s ex-wife, Frances. For music fans who don’t know, the period after the 1975 Newport Jazz Festival, Davis retired from the public eye and dove head first into a mean heroin addiction.
Cheadle, who has been working on getting this film green lit for a number of years, rejected the idea that this film would be a biopic in the traditional sense at last week’s American Film Market conference. “I hope with this film we can kill the biopic,” he said. “This film won’t try to give a broad overview of Davis’ life and give short shrift to this man’s story. For us as creative people, the time of his life that was most interesting was the five years when he wasn’t playing, when he was silent. What was going on in his mind? And how did he come out of it and return to music?”
Kind of Blue still remains one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time. Davis, an early pioneer of the 40s “cool jazz” movement, died in 1991. Over his fifty-year career in music, Davis collaborated with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Big Daddy Kane, and Charlie Parker.
Props: USA Today