Daniels Finds His “King!”

by Tim Gordon

Oscar nominee and Black Reel Award winning director Lee Daniels is assembling the cast for his next film, Selma, his follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Precious. Daniels has cast little-known British actor David Oyelowo to play Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Oyelowo, who appeared in The Last King of Scotland and stars in George Lucas’upcoming film, Red Tails, will be the latest actor to portray Dr. King.

The film will revolve around the historic marches staged by King in 1956 in Selma, Alabama. Hugh Jackman is already on board as a racist sheriff and Daniels is currently looking to cast the film’s other plum role of Alabama Governor George Wallace. Early indications were that Robert De Niro was interested in the role but nothing has been firmed up.

Reportedly, the film’s funding is shaky but that’s nothing new for Daniels who faced similar challenges when making Precious, which relied on then-obscure financier Smokewood Entertainment and went on to win two Oscars. Pathe International was on board to finance but might be scaling back its involvement, the extent of which was not immediately clear. It is known that the project is being shopped around in the hope of raising funds.