British actor David Oyelowo has been edging towards proper stardom gently in the last few years. The Royal Shakespeare Company veteran became well known in the U.K. after starring in the spy series “Spooks” (or “M-I:5” in the U.S.) and 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland,” and has worked steadily in big film projects. Last year, he looked to be properly on the brink when he landed the key part of Martin Luther King Jr. in Lee Daniels‘ “Selma.” And while that film is yet to happen, he’s had a pretty great 2011 regardless, with prominent roles in two late summer blockbusters as Preacher Green in “The Help” and the villainous Steven Jacobs in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”
And things keep looking up for the 35-year-old, as Variety brings news that he’s currently in negotiations to join one of the biggest stars on the planet. The trade reports that Oyelowo is circling a role in “One Shot,” Christopher McQuarrie‘s adaptation of the Lee Child thriller that will see Tom Cruise play Jack Reacher, an ex-milltary policeman called in to help investigate the case of a man accused of killing five people in a random sniper attack.
Should he sign on, Oyelowo (who’ll next be seen in George Lucas‘ “Red Tails” and Daniels’ “The Paperboy“) will play a homicide detective in charge of investigating the killings, and would join Cruise and Rosamund Pike, who signed on last month to play the female lead. It sounds like, unless McQuarrie really brings his A-game, the part may be fairly thankless, but it can only help get the actor’s name out there, and we’re convinced it’s just a matter of time before he gets a lead of his own. Filming should start in the next few months with a targeted February 8, 2013 release date by Paramount.