Lee Daniels Finds His Martin Luther King Jr. For ‘Selma’

Lee Daniels might not have picked up his own Oscar statue at last week’s 82nd annual Academy Awards ceremony, but his 2009 gutpunch “Precious” has left people wondering about what’s coming next. It’s already known that he’s doing a Civil Rights-era drama called “Selma,” set around demonstrations arranged by Martin Luther King, Jr. in the titular Alabama city in 1965. We also recently heard from Lenny Kravitz that he’ll follow up his “Precious” role with a juicier one in “Selma,” politician and King collaborator Andrew Young.

Now there’s news that Daniels has found his King: David Oyelowo, who played Dr. Junju in “The Last King of Scotland” and who we’ll see later this year in the George Lucas-conceived story of World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen, “Red Tails.” The news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, and it sounds like Oyelowo is locked in for the role.

There’s also some new info about the role Hugh Jackman will be playing: Jim Clark, “the short-tempered Alabama sheriff whose violent arrests of civil-rights protesters got international attention.” That news comes from Jackman’s comments made to Vulture last week.

The THR piece also mentions that the part of Alabama Governor George Wallace is still available. It had been speculated that that part would be filled by Robert De Niro, which may well still be the case. Daniels told MTV last month that he’s going to work with De Niro on “something,” but he refused to clarify at the time exactly what.

Is “Selma” the right move as a follow-up project to “Precious” for Daniels? What do you think of the King casting?