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Regina King's Love Letter To Black Manhood: She's Bringing Black Icons - Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, Muhammad Ali & More - To The Big Screen

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Regina King is currently in the process of making her feature film directorial debut with a bomb project about black icons from the 60s. Deets on what she’s working on behind the camera inside…

We’re not sure what we did to deserve this, but we’re ecstatic to see it.

Regina King has kicked off production in New Orleans for her feature film directorial debut. She’ll be calling the shots for the upcoming film, One Night in Miami, which will feature a cast full of YBF hotties.

  

The Golden Globe winner will be directing Kingsley Ben-Adir ("The OA") who’ll play civil rights activist Malcolm X, Eli Goree ("Riverdale") who’ll star as famous boxer/activist Cassius Clay right before he became Muhammad Ali, Aldis Hodge (Straight Outta Compton) as famed football player/activist Jim Brown, and Grammy/Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. (Harriet) playing iconic singer Sam Cooke.

We.Are.Here.For.This.Black.Excellence.

”’One Night in Miami is a love letter to black manhood that powerfully explores themes of race, identity and friendship,” Regina King told Deadline. “Each of them has contributed so much to culture and history. We’re so excited to have Kingsley, Eli, Aldis and Leslie in the lead roles showing a different side of these iconic men."

By the way, the Oscar winning actress will also be executive producing the film.

Deadline has the deets surrounding the film:

The film is an adaptation of the Olivier-nominated stage play by Kemp Powers, who wrote the script. Set on the night of February 25, 1964, the drama follows the brash young Cassius Clay after he shocked the world by knocking out seemingly invincible Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion. 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 – spends the evening at the Hampton House Motel in Miami’s African American Overtown neighborhood celebrating with three of his closest friends: Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown. All of them were beginning to assert themselves in the Civil Rights movement and the empowerment of black people, and it was an evening to share their thoughts with each other on their responsibility to use their influence and stature to benefit the black community. By night’s end, they leave each other determined to define a new world.

The play was originally staged in 2013, taking an actual event — the meeting between the iconic figures — and imagining what transpired between them as their friendship, successes and shared struggles fueled their paths to becoming galvanizing figures of their era. Odom will perform Cooke’s songs, including A Change Is Gonna Come.

It appears Regina is making good on her Golden Globes promise. During her acceptance speech, she said she's making sure every project she produces is staffed with 50% women. There are several women attached to this project.

Jess Wu Calder of Snoot Entertainment and Jody Klein of ABKCO are producing alongside Keith Calder, Regina and Kemp.

Tami Reiker (Beyond the Lights) is the cinematographer, Francine Jamison-Tanchuck (Just Mercy) is the costume designer. Barry Robison (Hacksaw Ridge) is the production designer and Tariq Anwar (King’s Speech and American Beauty) is the editor.

After the If Beale Street Could Talk actress made her promise, journalists were hounding her about making good on her pledge even before she announced she was producing a new project. In her cover story for Marie Claire's "Ambition" issue, she talked about how people of color are always expected to do things twice as fast as their white counterparts.

“Have you seen an announcement of me producing something yet?” she constantly finds herself saying. “That speech was six months ago. Goddamn.”

Yes, the double standard that often comes up when it comes to women of color.

“I’m held to account. Not having as many of the opportunities or resources as a white man or a white woman in the industry, but now that I’m the one that’s decided to say that I’m going to use what I’ve been given to do more, it needs to have been done yesterday?”

Now, it's her time! Congrats!

Photo: Kathy Hutchins/Shuttershock.com

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