The road to “Selma” was a long one, and hopefully that pat sentiment doesn’t undermine the long and hard civil-rights marches these activists undertook in the 1960. Based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Selma” was originally going to be directed by Lee Daniels, but he dropped out so he could focus on “The Butler.” Instead, the film, produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B, landed director Ava DuVernay, the filmmaker behind the celebrated Sundance indie “Middle Of Nowhere.”
“Selma” is the story of Dr. King’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people, which culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama and led to President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The film’s release will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the landmark legislation.
“Selma” features a huge ensemble cast, including David Oyelowo as King Jr., Tom Wilkinson as Johnson, Carmen Ejogo (“Alex Cross,” “Pride And Glory”) as Coretta Scott King, Andre Holland (“The Knick”) as Andrew Young, Omar J. Dorsey (“The Blind Side”) as James Orange, Alessandro Nivola (“American Hustle”) as John Doar, Dylan Baker (“The Good Wife”) as J. Edgar Hoover, Wendell Pierce (“Treme”) as Williams, Common as Bevel, Tim Roth (“Lie to Me,”) as George Wallace, Oprah Winfrey (“The Butler”) as Annie Lee Cooper, plus Cuba Gooding, Jr., Keith Stanfield (“Short Term 12“), Giovanni Ribisi, Tessa Thompson, Colman Domingo, Stephen Root and Jeremy Strong.
It sounds like this film was made for the right reasons and not just as effective Oscar-bait. Plus DuVernay is talented as hell, so we’re excited for her to take this big step forward. “Selma” will have a limited release in the U.S. on Christmas day and will open wide on January 9, 2015. Watch the first trailer below.