Colman Domingo Set to Star and Direct Nat King Cole Biopic

The upcoming musical film on the life of the legendary singer will be Domingo’s directorial debut.

Fresh off receiving a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for portraying Bayard Rustin in “Rustin,” Colman Domingo is slated to direct and star in a biopic centered on the life of the legendary Nat King Cole.

The upcoming musical film will be Domingo’s directorial debut and he confirmed that the project is currently in the works in an appearance on the "Variety"

“I’ve been working on it quietly for a few years,” Domingo said. “It’s something I’m looking forward to putting together with some great partners.”

Throughout his acting career, Domingo has had a deep affinity for the groundbreaking singer and has portrayed in the past.  Along with Patricia McGregor, he co-wrote the play “Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole,” which premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

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Released in 2019, the play reimagines the singer’s state of mind during his Christmas special on “The Nat King Cole Show,” in 1957 which was the first program hosted by an African American on network TV.

A trailblazing vocalist and pianist, Cole came to national prominence after forming the The King Cole Trio in the late 1930s. The group would become the top-selling act and the only Black act signed to Capitol Records in 1940. Some of Cole’s most popular songs include "Unforgettable", "Mona Lisa", "Straighten Up and Fly Right", "For Sentimental Reasons", “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” “The Christmas Song”, and many more.

Among the accolades he received was a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 and a Special Achievement Golden Globe Award. Posthumously, Cole was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2020.

After starring in The Color Purple last year, 2004 is shaping up to be a banner year for Domingo. He’s also signed on to executive produce “It’s What’s Inside,”  the horror film that premiered at Sundance and was purchased by Netflix for $17 million. In front of the camera, he’s set to appear in several feature films including “Drive-Away Dolls”, “Sing Sing,” which he also is a producer, and Antoine Fuqua’s Michael, where he’ll be playing Joe Jackson.

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