Don Cheadle Reveals Having White Co-Star a "Financial Imperative" for Financing

By Ian Holubiak on Feb 25, 2016 02:48 PM EST
Don Cheadle Reveals Having White Co-Star a "Financial Imperative" for Financing ctor Don Cheadle arrives at an exclusive screening and panel discussion with Showtime's 'Hou$e Of Lie$' at Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre on June 6, 2013 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo : Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

In keeping with the Oscars' "All White" scandal, Don Cheadle reveals that getting his Miles Davis biopic about the jazz trumpeting legend, entitled Miles Ahead, off the ground would have been an impossible feat had his co-star not been Caucasian. Casting Ewan McGregor as a fictitious Rolling Stone journalist, then, was a "financial imperative."

The movie screened at the Berlin Film Festival last week, which revealed Cheadle's mission to create a movie centered around the chaotic and often volatile nature of Mr. Miles Davis. Having outsourced to crowd funding sites, launching an Indiegogo campaign, Cheadle expressed that he hit many roadblocks when trying to initiate a conversation about getting his idea the cash flow to become a reality.

Don Cheadle remarked in a conference:

"There are different metrics by which those who are going to spend money on films determine if it's a good risk or not, and there is a lot of apocryphal, not proven evidence that black films don't sell overseas. Having a white actor in this film turned out to be a financial imperative. It was a component of getting to a certain number that would allow us a certain budget to get the film made. It's one of the realities of the business we're in."

As John Oliver put it, "Hollywood White is this still a thing?" And yet, even someone like Ridley Scott, who lobbed a violently racist comment that if "my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such. I'm just not going to get it financed," addresses the inherent racism assocaited with the film industry.

With the Oscars nigh, the conversation continues that the Academy has certain filings and justifications for its decisions that seem to file under systemic racism within the institution itself.

Nonetheless, aside from the anti-progressive nature of the business, it is with great stride that Cheadle was granted his film, which will drop in theaters April 1.

Take a gander at the preview for the movie below.

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TagsDon Cheadle, Miles Ahead, Berlin film festival

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