Leslie Odom, Jr. to Play Sam Cooke in Regina King's ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
Leslie Odom, Jr. is set to play singer Sam Cooke in Regina King's directorial debut One Night In Miami, according to Deadline. The film also stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as civil rights activist Malcolm X, Eli Goree as Cassius Clay right before he became Muhammad Ali, Aldis Hodge as gridiron great Jim Brown.
The film is an adaptation of the Olivier-nominated stage play by Kemp Powers. In the film, Odom, Jr. will perform Cooke's songs, including A Change Is Gonna Come.
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 and imagining what transpired between them as their friendship, successes and shared struggles fueled their paths to becoming galvanizing figures of their era.
An award-winning vocalist, sharp songwriter, acclaimed author, and consummate showman, Leslie Odom, Jr. entertains, engages, and enthralls audiences around the globe with timeless class, charisma, and charm. He ascended to international renown by originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway phenomenon Hamilton in 2016 for which he received a Tony® and GRAMMY® Award, generated hundreds of millions of streams, and earned multiple gold and platinum certifications. Later in 2016, his self-titled jazz debut bowed at #1 on the Soundscan Current and Traditional Jazz Charts. A year later, he returned to the top of multiple charts with the deluxe edition of Simply Christmas, which landed at #1 on the Soundscan and Billboard Jazz Charts.
His extensive acting career encompasses everything from Smash, Law & Order: SVU, Gotham, Grey's Anatomy, House of Lies, and CSI: Miami to Red Tails and Murder On The Orient Express. He most recently wrapped production on Sopranos: The Many Saints of Newark, and will next be seen in Harriet, Needle in a Timestack, Music, and voicing a character in the animated musical-Comedy Central Park. Not to mention, he has performed on hallowed stages such as Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and many others. He published his first book, Failing Up: How To Rise Above, Do Better, and Never Stop Learning in 2018.
Read the original article on Deadline.