Regina King’s acclaimed directorial debut One Night in Miami… will premiere in theaters on Christmas Day before making its way to Amazon Prime Video on Jan. 15, 2021, the streaming service announced on Friday. That means it will be available to watch over the MLK holiday weekend, which is fitting, given the premise.
Set on the night of Feb. 25, 1964, the story follows new heavyweight champ Cassius Clay (before he became Muhammad Ali), who against all odds defeated Sonny Liston and shocked the boxing world. As crowds of people swarm Miami Beach to celebrate the match, Clay (Eli Goree) — 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 (Kingsley Ben-Adir), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and football star Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). The next morning, the four men emerge determined to define a new world for themselves and their people.
In One Night in Miami…, playwright-turned-screenwriter Kemp Powers explores what happened during these pivotal hours through the dynamic relationship between the four men and the way their friendship, paired with their shared struggles, fueled their path to becoming the civil rights icons they are today.
Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder produced the film under their Snoot Entertainment along with Jody Klein of ABKCO, while King and Powers served as executive producers alongside Chris Harding and Paul O. Davis.
One Night in Miami… (which has seemingly added an ellipsis to its title) had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival before earning raves out of the virtual Toronto International Film Festival, from which the movie emerged a strong Oscar contender. It’ll be a player in the Original Song category thanks to the track “Speak Now” written by Leslie Odom Jr. and Sam Ashford, and performed by Odom.
“To complete and release a film within the same year is a difficult task. We welcomed the challenge because we knew now was the time for this film to be released. Amazon fully supported our intention and I could not be more excited this prescient story will be seen across the globe,” King said in a statement.