Oscar winner Regina King is set to make her feature film directorial debut with the adaptation of Kemp Powers‘ play One Night in Miami. King will be taking on a script by Powers, who is adapting his own debut play based on the real lives of Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown.
Deadline reports that Regina King will be stepping behind the camera to direct One Night in Miami, a drama that tells the real story of the rise of heavyweight boxer Cassius Clay, who would later become known by his professional name Muhammad Ali.
The play “aims to pinpoint exactly what happened during the pivotal hours” when Clay spends a night at the Hampton House Motel in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood celebrating his historic win against Sonny Liston with three of his friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown. The play features the music of Cooke, including his hit song, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and its feature adaptation is set to offer “a piercing narrative for the evening, which challenges the four men, strips them bare and reveals them for who they were.”
Here is the synopsis via Deadline:
Set on the night of February 25, 1964, the story follows a young Cassius Clay as he emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center as the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Against all odds, he’s defeated Sonny Liston and shocked the world of boxing. While crowds of people swarm Miami Beach’s hotspots to celebrate the match, Clay — unable to stay on the island because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws — spends the night at the Hampton House Motel in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood celebrating with three of his friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown. The next morning, the men emerge determined to define a new world.
Produced by Snoot Entertainment (Blindspotting, Little Monsters) and ABKCO, One Night in Miami will be King’s feature directorial debut. The Oscar winner for last year’s If Beale Street Could Talk has directed TV episodes of shows like Pitch, The Good Doctor, and This Is Us, as well as several made-for-TV movies, but has not yet stepped behind the camera for a big-screen scripted feature film. But it will be exciting to see an immensely talented actress like King show off her directorial chops.
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