Regina King is no stranger to the Oscars. In fact, she just won one for Best Supporting Actress for her work in If Beale Street Could Talk, and is a serious Emmy contender for her sterling work in HBO’s Watchmen series.
But now she’s gunning for a new Oscar: Best Director. Her directorial debut is a film adaptation of One Night in Miami: a fictionalized re-creation of a 1964 February evening Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke spent together after Clay beat Liston. King has already become the first Black woman to have a film selected for the prestigious Venice Film Festival, where it received a rapturous response. Now we’ve got our first clip of the movie headed to Amazon Studios, and you can see the studious performances of four of the most iconic American men in history. Ballers’ Eli Goree is particularly convincing as Clay, effortlessly channeling the boxer’s famed ego, wit and electric charm.
In addition to Goree, The OA‘s Kingsley Ben-Adir plays Malcolm X, Hamilton‘s Leslie Odom Jr. plays Cooke and Clemency‘s Aldis Hodge plays Brown. The play follows the four men debating the best way to leverage their celebrity, gifts and powers to desegregate the American South.
If King is nominated for an Oscar for Best Director, she’ll be the first Black woman to do so. The Academy has slighted the filmmaking achievements of Black women many times. Even in recent memory, Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Dee Rees’ Mudbound were both passed over, much to the consternation of many filmgoers.