Recent agency wranglings for Robert De Niro led to a few revelations regarding his upcoming slate. One of the more interesting projects on his platter is something referred to as “Selma,” in which he will presumably play Alabama Governor George Wallace in a period civil rights story.
I say “presumably” because when we talked to reported “Selma” (or whatever it will be called) director Lee Daniels the other day about his “Precious” Oscar nominations, he also offered some clarification on that De Niro stuff.
“De Niro is my very, very good friend and we’re going to work together on something,” he said. “I love him. He’s become such a mentor and a buddy and– we’re like brothers.”
Unfortunately, Daniels isn’t really ready to talk specifics on “Selma”; he refused to comment directly on the Governor George Wallace/De Niro connection, though he admitted that the plan is to work with the actor. “We’re trying to figure out what ’Selma’ is about. We’re trying to make sure that we can make it happen,” he said. “I’ve got to figure out what it is, and whatever that is hopefully [De Niro’s] a part of [it].”
Daniels, who made his debut as a director in 2005 with “Shadowboxer,” is really hitting the big time now thanks to “Precious.” Unfortunately, with larger projects comes larger responsibility. Any movie takes some effort to put together, but Daniels’ next film is surely going to be a larger affair. And that means more wheels to turn.
“When you’re making films, there are so many things that have to happen,” he said. “The money has to happen, the cast has to happen, their deals have to happen, the script has to happen, politics, studio… all that stuff.” Because of this, because the puzzle pieces aren’t yet in place, Daniels is hesitant to make any absolute statements about his post-“Precious” plans.
“I feel weird saying ’Yeah, [’Selma’] is what I’m doing next,'” he explained. “It is what I’m committing to next, but all this stuff has to fall into place for it to happen.”
Did you see “Precious”? Do you think De Niro is a good fit for Daniels’ particular sense of style?