Hugh Jackman Cast in Lee Daniels' Civil Rights Movie 'Selma'
A couple of months ago we learned that Robert De Niro would be taking on the role of real-life Governor George Wallace in Lee Daniels' forthcoming civil rights movement film Selma. However, it turns out that it might not be a done deal if it happens at all because in a recent interview with USA Today, Daniels talked about working on the script less than a week before his big night at the Oscars on Sunday and revealed the only official cast member thus far: "I have to really start casting the movie because we're shooting it soon. The only person I've nailed in for sure is Hugh Jackman. It's all over the place." Definitely sounds like it.
But even if casting isn't moving swiftly, there's a chance the De Niro is still in the flick and maybe Daniels just didn't want to count his chickens before the agent closes the deal. And as busy as Daniels has been on the awards circuit, there's a good chance he never even heard that it was announced, and therefore felt no need to confirm, deny or even address the news. Jackman is certainly another big name and with Daniels' recent awards recognition, there are likely more A-List actors cast in this that we have yet to hear about.
In a recent interview, Lee Daniels revealed to ComingSoon exactly what will be at the core of Selma's plot:
"It's a moment in time in Martin Luther King and LBJ's [life] around the signing of the Civil Rights. It's a snapshot of the march. It's really Lyndon Johnson's story. Martin Luther King is a part of it, but it's really the arc of a man that starts out as a racist who is forced to look at himself in the mirror and then ultimately side with King. It's really a journey of a white cat and how he sneers at tradition and against George Wallace, against everybody, says, 'Uh-uh.'"
So who is Hugh Jackman going to play? De Niro looks like a better fit for Lyndon B. Johnson, so I imagine he's playing someone else, but we're not sure. It also seems like Selma might be a bit one-sided, but with a presumably great cast, this should bring the civil rights movement to the big screen in a very powerful way. Hopefully Daniels develops his directing a bit more because, in my opinion, his visual presentation of the story was the weakest part of Precious. It seems like he's a great acting director, but not so creative with a camera. We'll see how this one turns out as more casting arrives. And good luck to Lee Daniels on Sunday!
You're spot on in your observations about Daniels...definitely a solid director, but he'll need a very strong DP if he wants to keep the audience visually stimulated as well as emotionally stimulated.
peloquin on Mar 4, 2010
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