Well, that didn’t take long. Mere hours after Regina King’s feature directing debut One Night in Miami was announced as part of the TIFF lineup, Amazon Studios has swooped in and bought the film. The plan is to release it during the “awards corridor”, and it’s easy to see why based on the historical significance of the plot, the star-studded cast, and King’s hand behind the camera.
One Night in Miami is based on the stageplay by Kemp Powers, which tells a fictional story of a real-life meeting between Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown.
Here’s a synopsis: “Set on the night of February 25, 1964, the story follows a young Cassius Clay (before he became Muhammad Ali) as he emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center the new World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Against all odds, he defeated Sonny Liston and shocked the sports world. While crowds of people swarm Miami Beach to celebrate the match, Clay – unable to stay on the island because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws – instead spends the night at the Hampton House Motel in one of Miami’s historically black neighborhoods celebrating with three of his closest friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown. The next morning, the four men emerge determined to define a new world for themselves and their people.”
King has assembled an incredible cast, who have the challenge of embodying these impactful figures. Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Eli Goree as Cassius Clay, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, Leslie Odom, Jr. as Sam Cooke, Lance Reddick as Brother Kareem, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Barbara Cooke, and Michael Imperioli as boxing trainer Angelo Dundee. Beau Bridges and Joaquina Kalukango have roles, as well. Oscar-nominee Terence Blanchard composed the score.
There has been very little territory that King hasn’t already conquered, which makes this new turn towards directing even more interesting. She won an Oscar for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk, and two Emmys for American Crime. Earlier this week she earned another Emmy nomination for HBO’s Watchmen.