I had been sitting back wondering whether Ava DuVernay's "Selma" would be ready in time for this year's upcoming awards season. Paramount already has a couple of things to play with, from Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" to Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar." Well, add another, as DuVernay's film has just been slated for a Christmas Day limited release.
The film, which is being produced by Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt's Plan B shingle, is still shooting in Atlanta, Georgia and Montgomery and Selma, Alabama, but I guess there is enough faith that the editing will come together in time. It of course tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s struggle to secure voting rights for all during the heated civil rights movement of the 1960s. This led to President Lyndon Johnson signing the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. The film will go wide on Jan. 9 of next year, capitalizing on the 50th anniversary of the event and just a week shy of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16.
David Oyelowo stars in the film as Dr. King. He was recently seen in "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and also has a role in "Interstellar." Tom Wilkinson, meanwhile, plays Johnson, and the rest of the film features a pretty packed cast. Also starring are 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.
That's quite the ensemble for DuVernay to be wrangling after her intimate award-winning drama "Middle of Nowhere," but this project, it seems, has been moving along swimmingly. Obviously the question with a latter-year release becomes: is it an awards season player? It very well may be. Pitt's Plan B is coming off a big Best Picture win for "12 Years a Slave" and has been making great choices with material for years. Oyelowo is on the verge of breaking out in a huge way and, most of all, "Selma" will be very different from everything else Paramount has up its sleeve this year. The studio was able to wrangle the diametrically opposed "Nebraska" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" into Best Picture shape last year. This is a game they're good at.
Stay tuned for more as it happens, but for now, put "Selma" on the 2014 calendar.
2014 | Thriller | RSummary: Strangely compelling story of an unusual woman, played with ethereal detachment by Scarlett Johansson, who seductively guides lost men to their doom.Director: Jonathan Glazer
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay
1998 | Documentary | RSummary: Controversial documentary looks into the life and death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, and his relationship with Courtney Love.Director: Nick Broomfield
Cast: Courtney Love, Nick Broomfield, Kurt Cobain
2007 | Crime | NRSummary: Glenn Close has a dream role as a high-powered lawyer who won’t let ethics get in the way of taking down her targets; Rose Byrne shows incredible range as the protege who hardens up fast under Close’s tutelage.Director: Glenn Kessler, Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman (Creators)
Cast: Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Tate Donovan
1998 | Action | NRSummary: Animated series with day-Glo colors, fast action, and three young girls who are as adorable as they are powerful. Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup fight off giant monsters and battle the pains of growing up.Director: Craig McCracken (creator)
Cast: Cathy Cavadini, Elizabeth Daily, Tara Strong
1964 | Musical | NRSummary: Everything is beautiful in this dazzling musical: Catherine Deneuve, the glowing cinematography, the songs of Michel Legrand, and even the bittersweet romance.Director: Jacques Demy
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon
1996 | Animation | PGSummary: Michael Jordan agrees to help the Looney Tunes play a basketball game against alien slavers to determine their freedom.Director: Joe Pytka
Cast: Michael Jordan, Wayne Knight, Billy West, Dee Bradley Baker
1997 | Drama | RSummary: Matt Damon got his break as an MIT janitor who hides his mathematical brilliance, but is eventually guided by a therapist played beautifully by Robin Williams. Damon and Ben Affleck, who also appears, won an Oscar for their original screenplay.Director: Gus Van Sant
Cast: Matt Damon, Minnie Driver, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck
1966 | Family | PGSummary: The Dynamic Duo faces four super-villains who plan to hold the world for ransom with the help of a secret invention that instantly dehydrates people.Director: Leslie H. Martinson
Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith
2014 | Documentary | PGSummary: Sobering and excellent documentary looks at the relationship between America's obsesity epidemic and our food industries.Director: Stephanie Soechtig
Cast: Michele Simon, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton
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