Don Cheadle is asking for the public’s help to get his Miles Davis movie funded. On Wednesday Cheadle launched his Indiegogo campaign; the goal is to raise $325,000 by July 6 to go toward principal photography for Miles Ahead.
In an interview with USA Today, Cheadle made sure to point out that the movie isn’t a biopic but will focus on a certain period in the life of the jazz legend, who died in 1991. “Standard biopics touch all the standard benchmarks for five seconds, then move on,” Cheadle said. “They don’t tell you a full story.”
Cheadle, who will also star as Davis in the film, plans to tell a full story, focusing on a few days in the trumpeter’s life in the mid-1970s as he busts out of his “silent period” and returns to the music scene. Ewan McGregor will play the Rolling Stone journalist who shadows him.
Cheadle, who has been a Davis fan since he started playing the saxophone in the sixth grade, talked about his move to fund the movie via social media and reach out to the musical community. “While Miles used his horn to communicate and create ‘social music,’ we are using social media and today’s online platforms to reach out to the music community, the film community and people who are excited to see an explosive, cool, music-filled movie,” Cheadle said.
Cheadle also stated that he’s seeking public funding because most studios don’t back movies like his anymore. The award-winning actor has already put up his own money to help finance the movie and hopes others will help, too.
Unlike some movies about musicians who have passed away, Cheadle’s project received blessings from Davis’ family even before he had the idea of the movie. He said that after Davis was honored posthumously at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, the family was asked about a future movie.
“And they interviewed the family backstage and asked if there was ever going to be a movie about him. They said, ‘Oh yeah, and Don Cheadle is going to play him.’ The calls really started coming in. I met with the family and we began in earnest,” Cheadle said.
To learn more about Cheadle’s Indiegogo campaign, visit his campaign’s page.
Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.