IT has become so common a trend of recent years for actors to try their hand behind the camera that the transition has begun to feel almost like a natural right of passage. And so it is this week - joining the ranks of Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper and more - that Regina King makes her feature debut.

King has always carried the air of an actor rather better than the successive comedies in which she’s been cast. Jerry Maguire was quite the breakout in 1996 but Legally Blonde 2, anyone?

Then, way back in 2018, Barry Jenkins gifted King the role of a lifetime. For If Beale Street Could Talk, King won an Oscar.

Three years on and she’s bagged a $17m budget from Amazon to produce a prestige project of her own.

One Night in Miami is not, it must be said, King’s first foray into directing. For television, the LA native has tackled episodes of all from Scandal to The Good Doctor across the past eight years. Cinema is, however, the big time.

While Covid-19 has relegated One Night to video on demand, King more than proves her mettle.

Penned by Kemp Powers, and based on his own stage play of 2013, the film yarns a fictional account of a real night: 25 February 1964.

In the wake of his surprise title win over Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali - here, still Cassius Clay - finds himself in a room at the Hampton House with none other than Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Sam Cooke. A meeting that could not have been more remarkable were it true.

One time Vera star Kingsley Ben-Adir leads as Malcom X, with Riverdale’s Eli Goree as Clay. Aldis Hodge and Leslie Odom Jr. round off the quartet, meanwhile, as American footballer turned actor Brown and singer-songwriter Cooke respectively.

An Avengers assembly of the American Civil Rights movement, as it were, One Night in Miami boasts a gorgeous script and performances that do well to balance the gravitas of the occasion - one on the verge of renouncing his slave name and two on the brink of assassination - with something more subtle and brotherly.

A tad confined by a staged set up, King gives makes vital space for her cast to shine and is rewarded for it.

See for yourself on Amazon Prime now.