Oprah Winfrey Joins MLK Drama 'Selma' as Producer (Exclusive)

9:00 AM PST 01/19/2014 by Borys Kit
AP/Invision
Oprah Winfrey

David Oyelowo, who acted with Winfrey in "Lee Daniels' The Butler," is starring as Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights drama.

PARK CITY -- Oprah Winfrey is coming on board to act as a producer on Selma, the drama about the historic civic rights marches that has David Oyelowo portraying Martin Luther King Jr.

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The move puts her in company with Brad Pitt, who already is on board as a producer via his Plan B production company, and its execs Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. Plan B was behind 12 Years a Slave, the slave drama that just nabbed 10 Oscar nominations.

Also producing Selma is Christian Coulson, who won an Oscar for producing Slumdog Millionaire. Pathe, the company which financed last year's Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is financing Selma, and the company’s Cameron McCracken also is producing.

Selma details the attempts of black marchers to walk from Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, in 1965 in order to gain voting rights, only to be beaten back by police. It took the organizers three attempts to make the journey as marchers swelled in numbers each time. It was also a critical time in King’s life

"It’s a subject matter close to her heart," Ava DuVernay, who is directing the movie, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "The producers are behind some of the most forward-thinking movies of last year, and they are all coming together."

Winfrey played Oyelowo's mother in Lee Daniels' The Butler and seems to be making more moves into movies after a long absence. She also is producing The Hundred-Foot Journey for DreamWorks.

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