[JPL] George Tillman Jr. to Direct Miles Davis Biopic

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Wed Nov 9 20:56:37 EST 2011

George Tillman Jr. to Direct Miles Davis Biopic
The director has been hired to develop and direct a feature film about 
the legendary jazz musician, tentatively titled "Miles." Nick Davis 
Raynes and Ged Dickersin are producing with help from the late 
trumpeter's eldest son, Gregory.

Notorious helmer George Tillman, Jr. has been hired to develop and 
direct a feature film about legendary jazz musician Miles Davis, 
tentatively titled Miles. The late trumpeter's eldest son, Gregory 
Davis, will consult on the film.

A central figure on the music scene for nearly fifty years, Davis was a 
perpetual innovator who collaborated with many of the jazz greats, from 
Charlie Parker and John Coltrane to Gil Evans and Thelonious Monk. His 
addiction to drugs nearly derailed his career, but he persevered as a 
major influence on other musicians until his death in 1991.

Nick Davis Raynes and Ged Dickersin are producing the project, which is 
loosely based on the book Dark Magus: The Jekyll and Hyde Life of Miles 
Davis, written by Gregory Davis. Isaac Fergusson wrote the original 
draft of the screenplay, but the filmmakers are further developing the 

"Our intention is to make a feature film that will appeal beyond the 
worldwide audience of Miles Davis die-hard fans, to also include those 
who don't know the first thing about the man, and introduce new ears to 
his music," said Raynes. "In much the same way that Walk The Line and 
Ray were able to open the world's eyes to the life stories of Johnny 
Cash and Ray Charles, respectively, we want to make a film that will do 
the same justice for Miles Davis. Miles, in his fifty-year career as a 
musician, transcends time, space and race."

Actor Don Cheadle, who portrayed Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1998 HBO film 
The Rat Pack, has been trying for years to jumpstart a Miles Davis 
biopic to direct, produce and star in. That project was once set up at 
Overture Films but is still looking for traction.

The CAA-repped Tillman has directed the films Faster, Men of Honor and 
Soul Food. Tillman also directed the biopic of hip-hop artist Notorious 
B.I.G., Notorious, in 2009.

"I trust George Tillman and Nick Raynes will tell the true story of my 
father -- without any sugar-coating," said Gregory Davis. "My father was 
an amazing man who believed in the promise of America. I know this film 
will do him justice."

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