The upcoming big-screen directorial debut of Regina King, One Night in Miami, has set its main cast.
The film is based on the debut play of the same name from Kemp Powers. It gives a fictional account of a real-life night featuring a pre-Muhammad Ali Cassius Clay, Jim Brown, Malcolm X and Sam Cooke.
The OA and High Fidelity star Kingsley Ben-Adir will be Malcolm X, Riverdale star Eli Goree will be Cassius Clay, Clemency star Aldis Hodge will be Jim Brown and Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. will be Sam Cooke.
Here’s the description: Set on the night of February 25, 1964, the story follows a young Cassius Clay as he emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center as the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Against all odds, he’s defeated Sonny Liston and shocked the world of boxing. While crowds of people swarm Miami Beach’s hotspots to celebrate the match, Clay — unable to stay on the island because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws — spends the night at the Hampton House Motel in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood celebrating with three of his friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown. The next morning, the men emerge determined to define a new world. In One Night in Miami, Powers aims to pinpoint exactly what happened during those pivotal hours. Featuring the music of Cooke, including his hit song, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” the film offers a piercing narrative for the evening, which challenges the four men, strips them bare and reveals them for who they were.
“One Night in Miami is a love letter to Black manhood that powerfully explores themes of race, identity and friendship,” said King in a statement to Deadline. “Each of them has contributed so much to culture and history. We’re so excited to have Kingsley, Eli, Aldis and Leslie in the lead roles showing a different side of these iconic men.”
Regina King is arguably one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood right now. She is active as an actor, producer and director. In the past two years, she’s won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for work in both television and film, including her portrayal of Sharon Rivers in the Barry Jenkins-directed film If Beale Street Could Talk. She also recently had a critically-acclaimed turn in Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen series on HBO. Over the past several years, she’s become an acclaimed television director, helming episodes of shows like Scandal, The Good Doctor, Pitch and Insecure. And One Night in Miami isn’t exactly King’s overall feature directorial debut, as she directed the 2013 BET television film, Let the Church Say Amen.
Snoot Entertainment’s Keith Calder and Jess Wu Calder (Blindspotting) are producing the film with ABKCO. Right now, a studio is not attached and it is unclear if this film would fall under the mega Netflix deal that King signed last year.
Photo: Getty Images
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