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An upcoming biopic on legendary civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been in the works for some time. A trailer for the film Selma has hit the web, showcasing the iconic figure’s uphill struggle to secure voting rights for Blacks and others.

David Oyelowo assumes the lead role and the film focuses on the tense period of time King and other civil rights leaders were in the state of Alabama railing against the southern power structure. The three Selma to Montgomery marches were nonviolent protests held to highlight the voting rights struggle.

The historic events did not end peacefully, as the stirring images of “Bloody Sunday” in 1965 are still shocking. The nationwide anger at the time led then-President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign into law the Voting Rights Act Of 1965 in August of that year.

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Pic stars David Oyelowo as the iconic civil rights leader and tracks King’s struggle to secure voting rights for all people, culminating in the Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery and President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Starring alongside Oyelowo are Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper. Paul Webb penned the script.

Chicago rapper and actor Common stars as civil rights activist James Bevel in the film. Winfrey also serves as one of the producers for the film alongside Christian Colson, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.

Selma will be released in select theaters on Christmas Day with a wider release on January 9 next year.

Watch the trailer for Selma below. Hit the jump to see Common and co-star Tessa Thompson as SNCC leader Diane Nash.

Photo: Paramount Pictures

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