Regina King has officially begun production on her directorial debut in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Oscar-winning actress announced last July that she would be stepping behind the camera for One Night in Miami, an adaptation of Kemp Powers’s 2013 play of the same name.
King’s film will be set in February 1964, on the night boxer Cassius Clay became world heavyweight champion following a shock victory over Sonny Liston.
The fictional narrative will be focused on the aftermath of the fight, with Clay, civil rights activist Malcolm X, soul singer Sam Cooke, and American football player Jim Brown meeting for hours at a Miami motel.
Kingsley Ben-Adir will portray Malcolm X, Riverdale star Eli Goree will play boxing great Clay before he became known as Muhammad Ali, Leslie Odom, Jr. will feature as Sam Cooke, while Aldis Hodge will take on the part of Jim Brown.
“One Night in Miami is a love letter to black manhood that powerfully explores themes of race, identity and friendship,” King told Deadline. “We’re so excited to have Kingsley, Eli, Aldis, and Leslie in the lead roles showing a different side of these iconic men.”
Powers penned the screenplay for the project. His original play explored the possibility of what the successful men of colour may have discussed as they fought for equality in the face of racism and white supremacy during the 1960s civil rights movement.
In the past, If Beale Street Could Talk star King has directed episodes of TV shows such as Scandal, Shameless, The Good Doctor, and This Is Us, but One Night in Miami marks her first time helming a feature film.