Don Cheadle has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the Miles Davis biopic that he’s been working on for years. Cheadle will make his feature directorial debut with the film, titled Miles Ahead, in addition to co-writing it and starring as Davis.
Cheadle kicked off the IndieGogo campaign on June 3rd with a goal of $325,000. In the four days since it launched, he has raised $119,666 and has until July 10th to raise the rest. Perks for campaign donors associate producer credits, set visits to both Miles Ahead and Cheadle’s Showtime series House of Lies, Miles Davis box sets and T-shirts.
In the video for the campaign, Cheadle talks about how Davis rejected the term “jazz” for his work and preferred to call it “social music,” which Cheadle ties into his method of fundraising. “I think it’s only befitting that the making of this movie be a social experience,” he says. The video also shows Cheadle talking to Davis’ son Erin David and nephew Vince Wilburn, recounting how when Miles Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, Wilburn and David were asked who would play Davis in a movie about his life, and they stunned Cheadle by naming him.
“Surprisingly, Miles’ life, his passion, his creativity, his fire have never been brought to life in a film and the fact that his family has chosen me to do this now is an honor,” Cheadle wrote on the campaign site.
The film will focus on a brief period in Davis’ life in the mid-1970s, when he returned to recording and performing music after a long absence battling drug addiction. Davis contemporary Herbie Hancock is working with Cheadle on the film, along with Robert Glasper. The film will also star Ewan McGregor as “an unreliable Rolling Stone reporter,” according to Cheadle.