“Middle of Nowhere” Director Ava DuVernay Takes on MLK Biopic “Selma”

Director Ava DuVernay arrives at Film Independent's 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of AFFRM & Participant Media's 'Middle Of Nowhere' at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
Director Ava DuVernay arrives at Film Independent’s 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival Premiere Of AFFRM & Participant Media’s ‘Middle Of Nowhere’ at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 20, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

Ava DuVernay is stepping into the director’s chair of Selma, an upcoming biopic of Martin Luther King Jr., according to Deadline.  Lee Daniels, the director of Precious and this year’s The Butler, had long been attached the project, which is one of several upcoming projects about the late civil rights icon.

Paul Greengrass (United 93) is helming Memphis, which recreates the final days of MLK’s life and Steven Spielberg is reportedly working on a movie about King’s admiration of Mahatma Gandhi.  When Daniels was due to direct Selma, it was reported that rock star Lenny Kravitz (who co-starred in Precious) has been cast in the pivotal role of Andrew Young. Now that DuVernay is taken over it is unclear in Kravitz will remain on board.

But her leading man very well may be a familiar face. Before dropping out, Daniels did cast British actor David Oyelowo (who appeared in Daniels’ The Paperboy) as MLK. Oyelowo won considerable critical acclaim for his performance in DuVernay’s indie film Middle of Nowhere, which won her the Best Director Award at the Sundance Film Festival last year.  In addition Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson, Ray Winstone, Robert De Niro, and Cedric the Entertainer are all said to have been considering parts in the production.

article via thegrio.com

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