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Tika Sumpter Will Play Michelle Obama in ‘Before Sunset’-Style Romance on Obama’s First Date

Tika Sumpter Will Play Michelle Obama in 'Before Sunset'-Style Romance on Obama's First Date

Interesting, and unexpected but intriguing news here, given the style in which the film will be made…

A film based on the early romance between Barack and Michelle Obama is heading to the screen. 

Titled “Southside With You” – I suppose referring to South Side, Chicago, home to some of the most significant figures in the history of American politics, including Obama – the project is being pitched as a “Before Sunset”-style type of movie (in short, man, woman, lots of mostly profound conversation over a period of time), which will take place entirely in one day during the summer of 1989, when one Barack Obama (then a first-year Harvard Law student) took his future wife, Michelle (an associate at a Chicago law firm), out on a first date, which included a tour of Chicago’s South Side. 

The younger Barack has yet to be cast, but Deadline reports that Tika Sumpter will play the younger Michelle Obama (who was Michelle Robinson at the time).

As I recall, the future couple also caught a screening of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” something the president has talked about previously. I assume that moment in time will be incorporated into the script.

The film will be directed by Richard Tanne, from his own screenplay. It’s an indie production, which will be produced by Stephanie Allain (“Beyond the Lights,” “Hustle & Flow”) and Tracey Bing (an ex-Warner Independent executive).

Director Tanne and star Sumpter developed the script together, and will also executive produce, with principal photography set for July, 2015, on location in Chicago.

I love the Richard Linklater “Before” movies, and, in the past, when I watched them, I imagined the films with a black man and black woman starring, so this intrigues me, especially given that the story is based on a very real-life romance that we’re all broadly familiar with today. So let’s see how this goes…

In the meantime, who would you cast to play a young Barack Obama opposite Tika Sumpter?

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