After years of directing on television shows such as “Insecure,” “This Is Us,” and “Being Mary Jane,” Regina King is set to helm a narrative feature. She’ll direct the film adaptation of Kemp Powers’ play “One Night in Miami,” according to Observer. The fictional story sees Muhammad Ali — then known as Cassius Clay — Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and football player/future action star Jim Brown hanging out in a Miami hotel following Clay’s historic win over Sonny Liston.
“One Night in Miami” takes place on the night of February 25, 1964, shortly after Clay’s match with Liston, in which he became the world’s Heavyweight Champion. “Following the fight, Cassius joins his three close friends — a singer (Sam Cooke), a visionary (Malcolm X), and an NFL Hall of Famer and future action movie star (Jim Brown) — in his hotel room to celebrate,” the source details. “They not only discuss their private lives but also the responsibility of being successful black men during the civil rights movement, as they boldly challenge each other to be the best versions of themselves. What happened in that room would change all of their lives, and the world, forever.”
Filming will kick off in late 2019 or early 2020. Kemp wrote the script and Snoot Entertainment and ABKCO are producing.
King’s first directing gig was on a 2013 episode of “Southland,” on which she starred. In addition to her episodic work, she has previously helmed 2013 TV movie “Let the Church Say Amen” and co-directed the 2014 documentary “Story of a Village.”
A veteran actress, King won an Oscar this year for her supporting turn in “If Beale Street Could Talk.” She also nabbed a Golden Globe and an Independent Spirit Award for the role. She took home two Emmys for acting in “American Crime” and another for her leading role in miniseries “Seven Seconds.” Among King’s many notable credits are “Ray,” “Boyz n the Hood,” and “The Leftovers.” You can catch her next in HBO’s “Watchmen” series, which will bow later this year.
While accepting her Golden Globe in January, King vowed that, within two years, women will make up 50 percent of the crew for projects she produces. She wrote about the pledge in an essay for USA Today: “We will have to push through the objections of studio executives who might turn down a woman by constantly reminding them that every person who has had success and every person who has a lengthy résumé had to have their first shot,” she emphasized. “We have to give more first shots.”