Cincinnati music history fits Miles Davis film

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Miles Davis
Actor Don Cheadle has filmed movies around the world, so he's not totally surprised to be preparing to shoot his Miles Davis feature in Cincinnati.

“You have architecture and the look here that can approximate the era that we're shooting in Manhattan, which Manhattan doesn't really have a lot of anymore," said Cheadle in the “Miles Ahead" Downtown production office Wednesday.

“Cincinnati is built on a grid; that helps. It has the support network, the crew. The incentives here are very good," he said. The film has been approved for an estimated $2.37 million Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit. “It makes sense to be here. This town is a music town."

Cheadle ("House of Lies," “Rwanda," “Iron Man 2" and “3") has been here for four weeks preparing for his directorial debut in the movie about Davis, a music icon who died in 1991 at age 65.

“Miles Ahead" will be set in 1979, at the end of the musician's five-year silent period, when he enlisted the help of a “Rolling Stone" reporter (Ewan McGregor, “A Million Ways to Die in the West," “Star Wars") to retrieve a stolen recording. It will not be a traditional cradle-to-grave biography, Cheadle said.

The film also flashes back to Davis's affair with Frances Taylor from 1956 to 1966. The role of Frances is being recast, Cheadle said. Zoe Saldana ("Rosemary's Baby," “Avatar") is no longer part of the cast, he said.

Actor Michael Stuhlberg, best known as Arnold Rothstein in HBO's “Boardwalk Empire," has been hired to play a producer in the movie. Stuhlberg's credits include “Blue Jasmine," Men in Black 3," “Hugo" and “Lincoln."

Production will span six weeks, from July 7 through Aug. 15, Cheadle said. About 25 locations will be used for the movie – far less than the 70 places which Cate Blanchett's “Carol" filmed in over seven weeks in March-April.

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