There are a few films about Martin Luther King, Jr. in the works but Selma has brought on Oprah Winfrey as a producer, as well as Brad Pitt.
Big news on the MLK movie front. Paramount is in final negotiations to acquire domestic distribution rights to Selma, a feature drama about Martin Luther King‘s 1965 landmark voting rights campaign regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement, and none other than Oprah Winfrey has boarded the project as producer.
Paramount is tying down U.S. and Canadian distribution rights to the film. Ava DuVernay, who came aboard the project in July, rewrote the script and slipped it to Winfrey, who sparked to DuVernay’s rewrite. We’ve been waiting for a strong cinematic tribute to the iconic civil rights leader, and this remarkably becomes the second MLK project that Winfrey is involved with. Her Harpo also is behind a seven-part HBO miniseries America: In the King Years. Selma is on a much faster track. The plan is to get rolling in front of cameras as soon as possible. Lining up a domestic deal and a name of Winfrey’s caliber were key to getting the ball rolling, and when the deal makes production is expected to start right away. Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Christian Colson are already aboard as producers.
Another MLK movie, a biopic, isn’t moving as swiftly. Oliver Stone backed out of his involvement in a movie about the late Civil Rights leader after his script was rejected for touching on all aspect of King’s life, including alleged infidelity.
Also worth noting, writer DuVernay was the first Black woman to win Best Director at Sundance.