EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed David Oyelowo, who is coming off Lee Daniels’ The Butler, part of the cast nominated for a SAG ensemble award, followed by co-starring in the Christopher Nolan-directed Interstellar opposite Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Oyelowo, who has been doing fine work for a long time in everything from Jack Reacher to Red Tails, The Help and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, had been with WME. His exit appears to be fallout from the recent exit of Brian Swardstrom to UTA. Oyelowo continues to be represented in the UK by Christian Hodell at Hamilton Hodell and manager Glenn Rigberg at Inphenate. His attorney is Ira Schreck at Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams.
EXCLUSIVE: Fresh from his turn in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, David Oyelowo has been set to star in and produce A United Kingdom, a love story based on the true tale of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams. The film is backed by UK-based Pathe, which is coming off Philomena and Mandela. They are out to directors and will film next year in London and Botswana. Oyelowo will play Seretse, heir to the African throne of Botswana, who created a sensation in 1948 by engaging in a whirlwind romance in London with Williams, a white English office worker he married. The interracial union was opposed by both their families, as well as the British government, the Tribal elders of Botswana and the apartheid government of South Africa. The couple would not be denied, overcoming huge obstacles to be together, including exile and the abdication of the throne. Their son, Ian Khama, is currently the freely elected president of Botswana.
Oyelowo will produce with Rick McCallum, Brunson Green, Justin Moore Lewy and Charlie Mason. They are out to directors on a script written by Guy Hibbert, whose credits include Omagh and Five Minutes Of Heaven. Hibbert is exec producing with Cameron McCraken.
The film’s being done with cooperation from the Khama family, which issued a statement from Botswana: “We are pleased that the story of Sir Seretse Khama and Lady Khama is …
EXCLUSIVE: David Oyelowo will star in the indie drama Nightingale, the latest project from Mexico- and Santa Monica-based BN Films. The Brit actor, who appears in theaters next month in The Weinstein Co.’s The Butler, will play Peter Snowden, a man obsessively in love with an old Army friend who begins to spiral downward as the pair’s reunion approaches. BN producers Lucas Akoskin and Alex Garcia announced the casting today. The script by Frederick Mensch was discovered after being submitted to the Black List site. Elliott Lester (Love Is The Drug) is directing the pic, which is filming in Los Angeles. Josh Weinstock, BN’s Katrina Wolfe, and Lester are producing the film, while Akoskin and Garcia are executive producing. BN debuted in December, boasting a $150M production fund eyeing multilingual pictures. Recently completed features on the company’s slate include Words With Gods and The Jesuit, written by Paul Schrader. BN also is prepping Emir Kusturica’s Love And War and Lucia Puenzo’s La Mujer Infinita.
EXCLUSIVE: Here’s a hot signing before the biz goes away for the holidays. CAA has just signed Jon Hamm, the Mad Men star who recently left ICM Partners early last month following the exit of his longtime agent Carol Bodie. Hamm had taken meetings with a few of the agencies — WME was the other major player — but he’s headed for CAA. Hamm should have a bright future in features. Like Alec Baldwin, he can play comedy as well as drama, and has done several inspired turns on Saturday Night Live and in the film Bridesmaids. He played serious in the Ben Affleck-directed The Town, and those blue-chinned guys like Hamm also work well in macho franchises.
EXCLUSIVE: David Oyelowo is ready to play iconic boxer Sugar Ray Robinson in a biopic based on the Wil Haygood biography Sweet Thunder: The Life And Times Of Sugar Ray Robinson. Moneyball producer Rachael Horovitz and Game Change scribe Danny Strong will produce, and Oyelowo will be executive producer. Haygood wrote a draft of the script and depending on who the director is, Strong might come on and do a rewrite.
All of this came together on the set of the Lee Daniels-directed The Butler, the film that Oyelowo stars in with Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker. Strong wrote that script, based on Haygood’s Washington Post article, and the three of them found the beats of the boxing movie.