Oscar winner Regina King is headed behind the lens, making her directorial debut in an important story that centers on the life of Muhammad Ali.
The film, titled One Night In Miami, which started production Deadline reports, follows a then-Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) on the night of February 25, 1964 when he knocked out Sonny Liston, becoming the heavyweight champion. And because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws, Clay couldn’t celebrate in Miami Beach with the rest of his fans. Instead, he and his friends, Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) celebrated in the Black neighborhood of Overtown.
The film is an adaptation of the 2013 stage play, written by Kemp Powers. According to a producers’ statement, “Powers’ critically acclaimed play takes a well-known real-life event and imagines what might have been.”
King adds: “One Night in Miami is a love letter to Black manhood that powerfully explores themes of race, identity and friendship. The Watchmen star continues. “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.”
Onscreen, however, moviegoers will enjoy Odom covering Cooke’s songs, such as “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
There’s no word yet on when the film will hit theaters.