Unlike most biopics, Kill the Trumpet Player will not cover Davis’ entire life and career; rather, it will focus on his brief hiatus from music between 1975 to 1979. Co-written by Cheadle and Steve Baigelman, the movie will co-star Ewan McGregor as a Rolling Stone reporter and Zoe Saldana as Davis’ former wife, Frances.
Cheadle has been looking to make Kill the Trumpet Player for years, and now that he’s received backing from BitFrost Pictures, the film will begin production next June. Davis’ family will have a role in the movie’s making, as will the trumpeter’s longtime collaborator, Herbie Hancock.
A slew of music biopics have gotten the green light this year, with films about James Brown, Elton John, the Who‘s wild drummer Keith Moon and the 1970s Berlin collaborations between Iggy Pop and David Bowie all in the works. Some are further along than others, with Dan Aykroyd and Jill Scott recently added to the Brown flick, Get On Up, which will star 42‘s Chadwick Boseman as the Hardest Working Man in show business. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy was just tapped to play John in the Michael Gracey-helmed Rocketman, set to begin filming next year. And you’ll also be able to catch Saldana starring as Nina Simone in the upcoming film about the beloved jazz singer, Nina.