Lee Daniels' 'Selma' finds its King

8:00 PM PST 03/16/2010 by Borys Kit, AP

THR EXCLUSIVE

Lee Daniels is firming up the cast of "Selma," his civil rights follow-up to "Precious," even as its funding is on shaky ground.

David Oyelowo, the British actor who appeared in "A Raisin in the Sun" and stars in George Lucas' "Red Tails," will play the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Hugh Jackman is on board as a racist sheriff in the tale revolving around the historic marches staged by King in 1965 in Selma, Ala. The part of Alabama Gov. George Wallace remains up for grabs.

Christian Colson, who is producing Danny Boyle's "127 Hours," is producing with Plan B.

Pathe International was on board to finance but might be scaling back its involvement, the extent of which was not immediately clear. It is known that the project is being shopped around in the hope of raising funds.

Financial straits aren't new for Daniels, who faced similar hurdles when making "Precious," which relied on then-obscure financier Smokewood Entertainment and went on to win two Oscars.

Oyelowo, repped by ICM and Hyphenate (formerly Rigberg Entertainment), also appeared in "The Last King of Scotland" and HBO's "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency."
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