EXCLUSIVE: Don Cheadle‘s Miles Davis biopic is moving along with Emayatzy Corinealdi. The Middle of Nowhere star is in negotiations for the female lead in Miles Ahead following Star Trek actress Zoe Saldana‘s exit due to a scheduling conflict. She’ll play Davis’ wife Frances Taylor opposite Cheadle as the iconic jazzman and Ewan McGregor as Dave Brill, with Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Stuhlbarg also in talks to join the cast. The script, by Steve Baigelman and Cheadle, tracks a few dangerous days in Davis’ life as he emerged from a silent period to conspire with a Rolling Stone writer to steal back his music. Earlier this month Cheadle turned to crowdfunder Indiegogo to raise $325K to fund the indie production. It has reached nearly half of its goal with a little more than two weeks left to go.

Corinealdi broke out at Sundance 2012 after director Ava DuVernay cast her as a woman coming to terms with her husband’s eight-year prison sentence in Middle Of Nowhere. That drama earned acclaim and nabbed DuVernay Sundance’s top directing honors. DuVernay is now directing her high-profile follow-up, the MLK pic Selma, with Middle Of Nowhere‘s David Oyelowo starring as the civil rights leader.

Meanwhile, Corinealdi’s Middle of Nowhere performance earned her Spirit Award and Image Award nominations as well as the Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance. She subsequently landed a role in Lionsgate drama Addicted and appears in Amazon’s upcoming Marc Forster-directed pilot Hand Of God. Corinealdi is currently shooting Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation opposite Logan Marshall-Green and Tammy Blanchard. She’s repped by ICM Partners, Intellectual Artists Management and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.

2 months
Emayatzy Cornealdi is a force to be reckoned with. I can say i knew her when!!! Love...
Gemma
2 months
Don Cheadle is going to be amazing. I cannot wait to see this!