Regina King is stepping into the ring for her feature directorial debut.
Fresh off her Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk, the actor is set to direct to the upcoming One Night in Miami film about a young Muhammad Ali, a.k.a. Cassius Clay, EW has confirmed. The movie is being adapted from Kemp Powers’ play, with Powers attached to adapt it for the screen.
One Night in Miami follows Clay on the night of Feb. 25, 1964, the night he became the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. Clay is unable to stay in Miami Beach to celebrate his historic win with the crowds because of Jim Crow-era segregation laws, so he instead heads to the Hampton House Motel with three of his friends: activist Malcolm X, singer Sam Cooke, and football star Jim Brown.
In the hours between night and morning, the men emerge as different people inspired to change the world. One Night in Miami, which does not yet have a distributor, is Powers’ fictionalized narrative of what happened in that room, featuring Cooke’s music, including “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
King has made a name for herself as a director with a steady stream of TV episodes under her belt, including Southland, The Catch, Scandal, Being Mary Jane, and Greenleaf, but One Night in Miami will be her first theatrical film directorial gig. She’ll be seen next acting in Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen adaptation series on HBO.
Deadline first reported the news.