MLK Biopic ‘Selma’ Set for Christmas Release

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Another high-profile prestige pic looks to be jumping into this year’s awards race. Paramount Pictures has just set Selma, the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic being directed by Ava DuVernay, to open this Christmas.

David Oyelowo leads the drama as the civil rights icon. Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, and Carmen Ejogo are also among the cast. Get the latest updates on the project after the jump.

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You may recall that a couple of years back, Lee Daniels was debating¬†between two civil-rights themed projects. He ultimately settled on the White House drama The Butler, which opens next month. But the other, Selma, hasn’t been forgotten entirely — it’s just in new hands now.

Ava DuVernay, the rising star behind last year’s Sundance drama Middle of Nowhere, has taken over the project. David Oyelowo remains attached to play MLK, as he has since 2010. Hit the jump for more details on the project.

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Last King of Scotland actor David Oyelowo¬†has been poised on the brink of stardom for some time now, and while he’s not quite there yet he could be soon. He’s due to appear in a slew of buzzy projects over the next couple of years, including Lincoln, Jack Reacher, and The Butler. If he does well in them, he could very well be the subject of breathless THR profiles within another year or two.

His starring turn in Ava DuVernay‘s award-winning Sundance drama Middle of Nowhere isn’t likely to boost his fame or fortune by much. But precisely because it’s so low-key, it could prove a better showcase for his dramatic chops than some of his bigger movies. Emayatzy Corinealdi leads the cast as Ruby, a medical student who puts her career on hold when her husband Derek (Omari Hardwick) is sent to jail. Oyelowo plays a bus driver who develops an interest in her. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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