Don Cheadle, star of Hotel Rwanda and Ocean’s Twelve and several other films that are otherwise totally dissimilar, is set to direct and star in Kill the Trumpet Player, a new Miles Davis biopic. BiFrost Pictures is producing the film, which Cheadle has reportedly been planning for years. Cheadle also wrote the script, in collaboration with Steven Baigelman, and it will focus on the period of Davis’ life when he retired before returning to music in 1979. Ewan McGregor will co-star as a reporter, while Zoe Saldana is slated in as Davis’ former wife Frances.
This is a good place to insert the funniest Cheadle-Davis story of all time, from Tom Junod’s recent Esquire interview with George Clooney. It seems Mr. Clooney is a bit of a prankster, and he wanted to have some fun with Cheadle’s obsession:
“Being Clooney, he does not only write to Brad Pitt, however. He also writes as Brad Pitt. A few years ago, he even had some stationery made up with Brad Pitt’s letterhead. Then he found a book about acting and accents and sent it to Meryl Streep, with an accompanying note. It said, “Dear Meryl, this book really helped me with my accent for Troy. I hope it helps you too.” He signed it “Brad Pitt.” Then he sent another letter to Don Cheadle on “Pitt’s” stationery. As long as Cheadle has been acting, he has dreamt of playing Miles Davis. So the letter informed Cheadle that Pitt’s production company had acquired the rights to Davis’s life story. The letter said that Pitt wanted him to star in it.
As Charlie Parker.”
That’s classic Clooney! You can’t turn your back on that man!
Production on Kill the Trumpet Player will begin this summer.