In the wake of Regina King’s feature directorial debut “One Night in Miami” making this year’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere list, Amazon Studios has scooped up the movie’s global rights for a release later this year in time for awards season.
The “If Beale Street Could Talk” Oscar-winning actress’ movie based on Olivier-nominated Kemp Powers 2013 stage play, which he adapted, follows a young Cassius Clay as he emerges from the Miami Beach Convention Center to become the new World Heavyweight Boxing Champion on the night of Feb. 25, 1964. The man who would become Muhammad Ali has just shockingly defeated Sonny Liston. 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 – 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, singer Sam Cooke and football star Jim Brown. The next morning, the four men emerge determined to define a new world for themselves and their people.
Eli Goree plays Clay, Kingsley Ben-Adir plays Malcolm X, Aldis Hodge plays Brown and Leslie Odom Jr. plays Cooke.
“’One Night in Miami’ beautifully captures a significant moment in history when these great minds gathered and ultimately helped shape the conversation of what we know today as the civil rights movement,” said Head of Amazon Studios’ Jennifer Salke. “Regina King is a force of nature – mastering her craft in front of the camera as we’ve seen in her extensive body of work, and now taking her talent behind the camera. We’re so proud to welcome Regina and Kemp to the Amazon family.”
King said, “Amazon’s enthusiasm for ‘One Night in Miami’ is both humbling and exciting. I am honored to have them as partners on my feature film directorial debut.”
Producers are Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder of Snoot Entertainment (“Blindspotting,” “Anomalisa”) and Jody Klein of ABKCO (“The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus”), King and Powers are executive producers.
ABKCO will release the official “One Night in Miami” original soundtrack album in conjunction with the film.
King, a 3x Emmy winner, was recently nominated for her fifth Primetime Emmy for her turn in HBO’s limited series “Watchmen” in the Lead Actress category for her turn as vigilante Sister Night.
ICM Partners reps King and negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. King is also represented by attorney Nina Shaw and managed by John Carrabino.