Regina King is red-hot following HBO’s Watchmen and an Oscar-winning turn in If Beale Street Could Talk, and now the actress has unveiled the first image from her upcoming directorial debut One Night in Miami.
The film is based on the 2013 stage play of the same name by Kemp Powers, who also wrote the screenplay. Set on the night of February 25th, 1964, the story follows a young Cassius Clay — before he was known as Muhammad Ali — fresh off his victory over Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title, which shocked the entire boxing world. While thousands of people hit the night clubs of Miami Beach to party the night away, Jim Crow-era segregation laws forced Clay (Eli Goree) to celebrate at the Hampton House Motel in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, where he was joined by three of his iconic friends — activist Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), football star Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.). In addition to their private lives, they also discuss the responsibility of being successful Black men during the civil rights movement. The next morning, they all emerged from that room determined to define a new world.
“Black history IS American history! I am so excited that today, on Juneteenth, we get to share this first image from our film One Night in Miami. I can’t wait for you all to see the brilliance these brothers bring to their portrayals of Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Cassius Clay and Jim Brown,” King told EW, where the image debuted.
EW reports that Oscar-nominated composer Terence Blanchard, who just worked with Spike Lee on Da 5 Bloods, has agreed to do the film’s score. One Night in Miami was, oddly enough, filmed in New Orleans for tax purposes, and was produced by Jody Klein and Blindspotting producers Keith Calder and Jess Wu Calder.
King’s directorial debut doesn’t have distribution yet, so its release date is unclear, but this would be the perfect movie to release next February during Black History Month, which would also allow it to compete for the 2021 Oscars. We’ll see if a studio or streamer puts its money where its mouth is and picks up this important film.
King was excellent as Angela Abar, aka Sister Night, on HBO’s Watchmen, which you can now watch for free this weekend, even if you’re not a subscriber.