Lee Daniels is using his Precious Oscar heat to get one of his dream projects off the ground; called Selma it’s the tale of Martin Luther King’s 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama that brought the civil rights movement to a new level. The peaceful marchers were set upon by vicious, evil police and television cameras sent images of the assault into homes across America, changing the national debate on civil rights and brought Lyndon Johnson onto the path to the Voting Rights Act.

Daniels will begin shooting in May, but he doesn’t have his cast locked down yet, with one big exception: Hugh Jackman is signed. But to play what nobody knows. It’s possible that he could be playing George Wallace, the racist scumbag governor of Alabama. The role was originally tied to Robert DeNiro, and Jackman’s sort of young (and handsome) for the part, but you never know. Or maybe Jackman will play a mean cop, or he could be a Northern white guy, many of whom came down South to help out with the civil rights movement.

In their article about this (which includes a big error about the Civil Rights Act, which was signed into law before the first Selma march and its notorious ‘Bloody Sunday’), Coming Soon quotes Lee Daniels from last year on Selma. The quote they run is maybe supposed to make us think that Jackman could be playing Lyndon Johnson (so unlikely that I’d think he’s playing Martin Luther King before I bought that), but that makes me think this movie could turn out to be an Ed Zwickian whitey helping the minorities film. 

“It’s really Lyndon Johnson’s story. Martin Luther King is a part of it, but it’s really the arc of a man that starts out as a racist who is forced to look at himself in the mirror and then ultimately side with King. It’s really a journey of a white cat and how he sneers at tradition and against George Wallace, against everybody, says, ‘Uh-uh.'”

More casting news should come post-Oscars. I’m interested in seeing who Daniels gets for MLK.