Leslie Odom, Jr. has landed his next big screen role: as singer Sam Cooke in the movie adaptation of the Olivier Award-nominated play One Night in Miami, reports Deadline. Fresh off of biopic Harriet, the Hamilton star continues to work steadily in Hollywood.
Directed by Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), the previously announced film will chronicle the night boxer Cassius Clay (a.k.a. Muhammad Ali) inspired the world when he knocked out unbeatable Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion on February 25, 1964. In Miami, Clay was forced to spend the night in a hotel, due to segregation laws—but he spent it with his best friends Malcom X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown. The play, and, subsequently, the film imagines what transpired behind closed doors.
Odom will perform some of Cooke’s songs, including “A Change Is Gonna Come.” The film also stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcom X, Eli Goree as Clay/Ali, and Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown.
The one-act play was written by Kemp Powers and first performed in 2013 and premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London October 2016.
Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder of Snoot Entertainment (Blindspotting) and Jody Klein of ABKCO (The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus) are producing the movie, with King and Powers the executive producers.
Prior to Harriet, Odom appeared in the short-lived series One Dollar. He also starred as Dr. Arbuthnot in the 2017 remake of Murder on the Orient Express. This past fall he also released a new solo album, Mr. He is best known for originating the role of Aaron Burr in Broadway’s Hamilton, for which he won the Tony Award and a Grammy Award.
Production on One Night in Miami has just begun in New Orleans.