One Night in Miami is one of the most-talked-about films of 2021 as it takes a look at a fictionalized meeting of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, civil rights leader Malcolm X, NFL legend Jim Brown and singer Sam Cooke. The film is directed by Regina King, which is her first feature film as a director. One Night in Miami was released in limited theatres on Christmas Day but can now be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
The movie is based on a play that debuted in 2013. One Night in Miami is a fictional account of a real night, Feb. 25, 1964. "On the night of Feb. 25, 1964, in Miami, Cassius Clay joins Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Malcolm X, and they discuss the responsibility of being successful black men during the civil rights movement," the synopsis states. King, who just turned 50, recently explained what made her want to get involved with the project.
"I mean, the dialogue was powerful — and to know that I could potentially have the opportunity to tell a story that really is a reflection of the men that I know and love, that are in my life, that are complex and that are vulnerable," she said to Buzzfeed. "Vulnerability is what makes them strong. They're not cyborgs — they have fears and they actually do have emotions."
All four men really did meet, but the film takes a look at what they could have said to each other as Ali (Cassius Clay at the time) recently defeated Sonny Liston to win the title. Eli Goree plays Ali, Kingsley Ben-Adir plays Malcolm X, Aldis Hodge plays Brown and Leslie Odom Jr. plays Cooke. King said she had no idea the four men were friends before taking the project.
"I was not familiar with the night at all," she said. "I was familiar with Cassius and Malcolm's friendship, and I knew Cassius and Sam had a friendship, but it wasn't until I read the script that I was aware that they had spent that night together. It wasn't until I did my research that I even saw pictures of Cassius and Jim Brown together. I mean, it makes sense, but I didn't know that." One Night in Miami is getting strong reviews as it has a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes.