Don Cheadle pays tribute to jazz hero with "Miles Ahead"


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Using crowdfunding site Indiegogo, Don Cheadle announces he'll pay homage to hero and jazz legend Miles Davis.

Don Cheadle is making a movie about Miles Davis, but he's quick to stress: It's not a biopic.

“Standard biopics touch all the standard benchmarks for five seconds, then move on," Cheadle says. “They don't tell you a full story."

So Cheadle decided to tell a full story about a few days in the life of the famed jazz trumpeter/bandleader/composer. Miles Ahead, which will feature Cheadle in the title role, tells of the mercurial days when Davis burst from his mid-1970s “silent period" to storm the music scene with a Rolling Stone journalist (played by Ewan McGregor) in tow.

Cheadle, who has been a fan of Davis' since he picked up a saxophone in the sixth grade, is starting a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.com to raise money for the film.

“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 says.

The campaign seeks to raise $325,000 by July 6 to support principal photography in Cincinnati, where Cheadle will shoot his directorial debut. Among pledge prizes for the film are rare Davis posters, limited edition Davis artwork, a coffee table book of Davis' artwork signed by Cheadle, as well as set visits and access to screenings.

Cheadle says he's going the public-funding route because “most studios don't make these kinds of movies anymore, so we are doing it independently.

“I'm personally putting a big chunk of money into our budget as well as putting all my fees back in," he says. “But the extra money we hope to raise on Indiegogo will help us re-create the multiple time periods we're dealing with and (help with) the logistics of incorporating all the music."

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