Later this summer, Don Cheadle is planning to shoot a longtime passion project: a film about Miles Davis, using an anecdote about the trumpeter’s mid-1970s adventures with a Rolling Stone reporter (played by Ewan McGregor) as a way of exploring the man and his music. Miles Ahead is an independent production, produced and directed by Cheadle, who’s putting a lot of his own money into it; but he’s looking for a little more backing to “help us re-create the multiple time periods we’re dealing with and with the logistics of incorporating all the music.” To that end, Cheadle has launched an Indiegogo campaign, seeking another $325,000 by July 10th. Low-level backers will get regular updates from the set, and the opportunity to see the movie early; higher-level backers get to pick from a variety of specialty merchandise; highest-level backers may get to be in the movie, or receive a producer credit.
Whenever a celebrity asks for money from fans to make a movie, questions arise about whether the celeb in question really needs it. Cheadle attempts to defuse some of that skepticism by asking for a (relatively) small amount, and claiming that he’s using social media in the spirit of Davis’ “social music.” Given that it looks like Miles Ahead will happen whether Cheadle meets his Indiegogo target or not, his statement sounds pretty plausible, and that this is more an attempt to involve fans and drum up early publicity than it is to beg for cash. In other words: it’s not that Cheadle’s low on cash and feeling kind of blue, but that he doesn’t want to make his Davis film in a silent way.