Don Cheadle makes his directorial debut with Miles Ahead, a biopic starring the actor as iconic jazz musician Miles Davis, and judging by the first trailer, it appears to be as unconventional as Davis’ own musical stylings. In addition to the release of the full trailer for the upcoming drama, Cheadle opens up about why he chose to make Miles Ahead his directorial debut.

EW debuted the first trailer for Miles Ahead:

Miles Ahead stars Cheadle as the legendary jazz mastermind, and takes place in the ’70s, when Davis was struggling with addiction and no longer as invested in his art. Approached by a Rolling Stone reporter eager to tell his story, David schemes to stage a comeback, reclaim his music from record execs, and revisits the time spent with his one true love, Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi, star of the upcoming thriller The Invitation).

As you can see in the trailer, Miles Ahead is far from your typical, paint-by-numbers biopic, instead focusing on a specific time in the musician’s life and using Davis’ own musical style as inspiration for the format and tone. Cheadle told EW he had a very specific vision for the project and felt he had no other choice but to direct it:

[W]hen it first came to me, it was just something for me to act in. When I met with [Miles’] family, I told them I wanted to do something that wasn’t like I had seen before, and I had a take on the movie, that if I was going to play him, that it had to be as creative and different, that if it wasn’t as aspirational as he was, then I wasn’t really that interested. And before I got to my house after that meeting, it kind of came to me that that would be hard for anyone else possibly to see it the same way that I was seeing it, so if I was going to do it, I’d probably have to direct it. And as I was calling them, they were kind of calling me to say the same thing.

Miles Ahead also stars Ewan McGregor, Michael Stuhlbarg and Keith Stanfield, and hits theaters on April 1.

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