After numerous delays due to a lack of funding, the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, Selma, is finally moving forward. Tim Roth has now signed on to join the growing cast, according to Deadline, playing Alabama governor George Wallace.
The film focuses on the three marches that took place in Selma, Alabama in 1965. The first march planned to go from Selma to the State Capital, Montgomery, but was stopped after only six blocks by police and state troopers after Governor Wallace decided it was a threat to public safety (Wallace hated anything pro-desegregation and was one of the most powerful, vitriolic and visible forces against the civil rights movement). Protesters were them clubbed, gassed and whipped, with the TV footage of the violence shocking the US and galvanising support for civil rights.
A second, symbolic march took place two days later, led by Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo), which only went as far as the bridge where the previous protesters were stopped, because a court injuction prevented them going all the way to Montgomery. A week later the injuction was lifted and a third march set out, this time making it all the way to the state capital.
It was these marches and the public horror at the beatings of demonstrators that spurred Congress to start drafting laws that ended up with the Voting Rights Act, which for the first time explicitly gave African-Americans the right to vote.
Tom Wilkinson. Carmen Ejogo, Andre Holland, Omar J. Dorsey, Tessa Thompson and Colman Domingo are also set to star.
While Lee Daniels was previously set to direct, he left after being unable to get it off the ground. Ava DuVernay is now helming directing from a script she co-wrote with Paul Webb. The likes of Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey will produce.