David Oyelowo Will Play Martin Luther King Jr. For Lee Daniels
When the first person to be cast in Lee Daniels' historical biopic Selma was Hugh Jackman, it seemed clear that Daniels was struggling over the casting of the two major characters in the film, Martin Luther King Jr. and Lyndon Johnson. After all, how can any actor step into the shoes of two instantly recognizable historical figures, especially King, who is as iconic as the Lincoln Memorial at this point.
Clearly Daniels believes that David Oyelowo is up to that challenge. THR reports that the British actor has been cast to play King in the film, even as Daniels is still shipping it around to potential funders. Oyelowo had a role in The Last King of Scotland and the TV version of A Raisin in the Sun, but is largely unknown, which makes him a pretty good choice to slip into the role rather than overtaking it with that kind of "Hey, this famous person is playing that famous person!" stunt casting that's gotten old by now.
One more thing-- the THR story notes that the role of George Wallace is still up for grabs, which may mean that Robert De Niro is not on board after all, following a series of "is he or isn't he?" rumors in the last few weeks. Now's the chance for more famous actors to step in so maybe Daniels can actually get this thing funded.
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