Lenny Kravitz And Hugh Jackman Join Selma, Lee Daniels' Next Film; De Niro Confirmed

The cast for Lee Daniels' next film, Selma, is really starting to shape up. A while back there was rumor that Robert De Niro would be on board as Alabama governor George Wallace, and that news was confirmed by Movieline. Daniels now also has Hugh Jackman in the cast (announced last week) and, seemingly, Lenny Kravitz, who did good work in Precious.

Having Hugh Jackman signed is obviously the biggest casting news for the film, and we slipped on reporting it last week when Daniels mentioned the casting to USA Today. We don't yet know who Jackman will play, and since the film is said to largely center around the relationship between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Lyndon Johnson, it seems safe to say that Jackman won't play either of the leads. Beyond the core relationship between King and Johnson, the film also features the voting rights and desegregation campaigns and civil rights marches that centered in Selma, Alabama in the mid-'60s. So Jackman could be one of a number of activists that had a part in that movement.

That's where Lenny Kravitz comes in. While talking to E! last night before the Oscars, Kravitz said he'd been cast in Selma, as civil rights activist Andrew Young. An Alabama pastor in the late '50s, Young encouraged African-Americans to register to vote and became a friend of Dr. King. He moved to New York, but returned to the South during the Civil Rights Movement, during which he was jailed for taking part in demonstrations. This could be a relatively large role for Kravitz, depending on how Daniels is arranging Selma. [via The Playlist]

I'd really like to see Daniels co-direct a film at this point. He may be able get great performances out of his actors, as evidenced by Precious, but seems prone to making stylistic and visual choices that totally undermine those performances. The rape scenes and flashbacks in Precious are simply terrible, as are the dream/fantasy sequences. I'm worried, frankly, about how heavy-handed this movie will be.