Director Ava DuVernay’s Martin Luther King, Jr. film Selma will open in limited release on Christmas Day before going wide on January 9, 2015. Paramount and Pathé’s Paul Webb-scripted awards season drama has the powerhouse backing of producers Oprah Winfrey, Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave shingle Plan B, and Cloud Eight Films’ Oscar-winner Christian Colson (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire). The film stars David Oyelowo as the iconic civil rights leader and tracks King’s struggle to secure voting rights for all people, culminating in the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Starring alongside Oyelowo are Tom Wilkinson as Johnson, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Andre Holland as Andrew Young, Omar J. Dorsey as James Orange, Alessandro Nivola as John Doar, Dylan Baker as J. Edgar Hoover, Giovanni Ribisi as Lee White, Tessa Thompson as Diane Nash, Colman Domingo as Ralph Abernathy, Stephen Root as Al Lingo, Jeremy Strong as James Reeb, Tim Roth as George Wallace, and Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper.
EXCLUSIVE: Spider-Man 2 and 3‘s Dylan Baker has joined the cast of Paramount’s Martin Luther King Jr. pic Selma as one of the civil rights leader’s most vigorous government adversaries. He’ll play FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who under the direction of then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, carried out extensive investigations of King and his cohorts, including wiretapping and heavy surveillance.
Ava DuVernay is directing the film, which is in production with David Oyelowo playing MLK, Carmen Ejogo as wife Coretta Scott King and a supporting cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr, Common, Alessandro Nivola and Tessa Thompson. Last month Tim Roth joined the cast as segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace. Baker is coming off an Emmy-nominated run on The Good Wife and stints on Chicago Fire and spinoff Chicago PD. He is repped by Innovative and Viking.
Sarah Paulson Joins Nic Cage In ‘The Runner’; Matt Craven Suits Up For ‘Stonewall’; Jeremy Strong Joins ‘Selma,’ ‘Black Mass,’ ‘Time Out Of Mind’
Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated Sarah Paulson has joined Nicolas Cage in The Runner, about an idealistic but flawed New Orleans Congressman Colin Price whose dysfunctional life and career are destroyed by a sex scandal. Paulson, last seen in the Oscar-winner 12 Years A Slave, will play a PR consultant Price hires to help him get back into the political game. Paulson earned an Emmy nod for her turn in American Horror Story: Asylum and will return for the FX series’ next installment, American Horror Story: Freak Show. She’s repped by UTA and Kipperman Management.
Resurrection and Justified thesp Matt Craven has been cast in Roland Emmerich’s NYC period drama Stonewall. Jeremy Irvine, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman, and Joey King are also starring in the pic about the 1969 police raid at Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn that served as a flashpoint for the gay rights movement. Craven will play Deputy Seymour Pine, the leader of the raiding police force who sympathizes with the gay community but must carry out his duties. Craven previously starred in Emmerich’s White House Down. He’ll squeeze in his Stonewall shoot before heading to film the second season of ABC’s Resurrection. Craven is repped by Frontline Management, SDB Partners and Paul Hemrend in Toronto.
Bill Condon Helming ‘Beauty And The Beast;’ John Lavelle Joins ‘Selma’; Janeane Garofalo, Phyllis Somerville & Ed Weeks Cast In ‘3rd Street Blackout’
Disney has hired Bill Condon to direct a live-action Beauty And The Beast as the studio continues to mine the fairy tale books for all they are worth. Condon is coming off The Fifth Estate, the Julian Assange movie that unfortunately didn’t have a fairy tale ending…
John Lavelle has joined the cast of Paramount’s Selma for director Ava Duvernay. He will play Roy Reed, a reporter covering the Martin Luther King Jr-led march on Washington for The New York Times. The ensemble also features David Oyeloko, Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr and Tim Roth. Lavelle, whose recent credits include Zerosome, Dirty Movie and voices in Frozen, is repped by Innovative Artists and Coronel Group.
Janeane Garafolo, Phyllis Somerville and Ed Weeks are set to star in the indie comedy 3rd Street Blackout. Production is underway on the film from co-directors Negin Farsad and Jeremy Redleaf, which follows a technology-obsessed couple forced to re-examine their relationship when they become suddenly unplugged in NYC during Hurricane Sandy. The cast also includes Jordan Carlos, Arthur French, Rachel Feinstein, Katie Hartman and Miles J. Harvey.
EXCLUSIVE: After playing Monaco’s Prince Rainer III in the Cannes opening-night film Grace Of Monaco, Tim Roth will play another period figure in a major feature. He’s signing on to the cast of Selma, and he will be playing George Wallace, the Alabama governor who favored segregation and whose bullying tactics galvanized Martin Luther King Jr and the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery. The Ava DuVernay-directed film for Paramount is shaping up with a strong cast that includes David Oyelowo as Dr. King and Tom Wilkinson is President Lyndon Johnson. Wallace turned out to be a key player in the proceedings, though it hardly ended up like he hoped it would. He vowed to stop the march, and when the first wave of protesters turned up, they were brutally beaten by Wallace’s Alabama State Troopers. This created national outrage, and protesters white and black began arriving from all over the country. The continued violence led LBJ to say that this was not a black problem or a white problem but an American problem, and it prompted the president to push for the Voting Rights Act, which guaranteed African-Americans the right to vote.
Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. is set to play famed civil rights attorney and activist Fred Gray in Paramount Pictures’ Selma, a feature drama about Martin Luther King’s 1965 landmark voting rights campaign, regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement. Gray came to prominence while working alongside King during that period. Gooding joins previously cast David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Oprah Winfrey and Martin Sheen in the pic produced by Plan B and Winfrey. Ava DuVernay is directing from a script she rewrote from Paul Webb’s original version. Gooding won a best supporting actor Oscar for 1996′s Jerry Maguire. His other film credits include Machete Kills, Don Jon, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and As Good As It Gets. Gooding is repped by ICM partners and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman.
Robin Tunney & Sarah Bolger Join ‘My All American’; Brett Dalton In ‘Tourist’; Tessa Thompson Cast In ‘Selma’; Joel Lambert Books ‘American Sniper’
Robin Tunney and Sarah Bolger have joined the cast of inspirational football drama My All American. Aaron Eckhart and Finn Wittrock star in director Angelo Pizzo’s true story of 1960s University of Texas football great Freddie Steinmark and his relationship with legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal. Tunney will play Gloria Steinmark, Freddie’s loving, supportive mother. Bolger plays Linda Wheeler, Steinmarkʼs high school sweetheart who follows him to college. Filming starts May 19 in Austin. CAA-repped Tunney stars on CBS’ The Mentalist. Repped by CAA and manager Paul Nelson, Bolger’s credits include Once Upon A Time and The Tudors.
Brett Dalton has booked a role in the indie drama The Tourist for writer-director Evan Oppenheimer. He will play Eric Lazard, a heartbroken former college football star who gets in over his head with a dangerous Florentine sport and an alluring local woman (Alessandra Mastronardi). Stana Katic and Emil Atack also star. Dalton stars on Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and also has appeared in Killing Lincoln, Army Wives and Blue Bloods. He is repped by Gersh and Brookside Artist Management.
Common is near a deal to play prominent civil rights activist James Bevel and Andre Holland is set to play Andrew Young in Selma, the Ava DuVernay-directed drama that has Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt’s Plan B producing at Paramount. David Oyelowo is playing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bevel, field general of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was a key figure in the politically charged march against segregation in Alabama.
Holland, who stars opposite Clive Owen in the Steven Soderbergh Cinemax series The Knick and opposite Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer in the Mike Binder-directed Black And White, plays Young, who was long a close confidante of MLK. Common is repped by CAA, Holland by Paradigm and Brookside Artist Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Big news on the MLK movie front. Paramount is in final negotiations to acquire domestic distribution rights to Selma, a feature drama about Martin Luther King‘s 1965 landmark voting rights campaign regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement, and none other than Oprah Winfrey has boarded the project as producer. Paramount is tying down U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to the film. Ava DuVernay, who came aboard the project in July, rewrote the original script by Paul Webb and slipped it to Winfrey, who sparked to DuVernay’s rewrite. We’ve been waiting for a strong cinematic tribute to the iconic civil rights leader, and this remarkably becomes the second MLK project that Winfrey is involved with. Her Harpo also is behind a seven-part HBO miniseries America: In the King Years. Selma is on a much faster track. The plan is to get rolling in front of cameras as soon as possible. Lining up a domestic deal and a name of Winfrey’s caliber were key to getting the ball rolling, and when the deal makes production is expected to start right away. Pathe UK, Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Christian Colson are already aboard as producers.
Winfrey’s presence both on and off the screen was a big reason Lee Daniels’ The Butler traveled so well overseas. The Butler has grossed $167.7 million to date — more than $50M of that internationally. This gives Selma a leg up on the other two major features that are percolating. Oliver Stone last month saw a script rewrite on his MLK biopic rejected by DreamWorks and Warner Bros, and it caused him to back out of the project. Meanwhile, Paul Greengrass still isn’t ready to move on his biopic Memphis that he plans to make with Scott Rudin.