'The Wire' Star Wendell Pierce Joins MLK Film 'Selma' (Exclusive)

4:59 PM PST 05/29/2014 by Rebecca Ford
Sean Hagwell
Wendell Pierce

David Oyelowo is starring as Martin Luther King Jr. in the film about the civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama.

The Wire and Treme star Wendell Pierce has joined Paramount's Martin Luther King Jr. film Selma.

Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere) is directing the film, which focuses on 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 the number of marchers grew each time.

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David Oyelowo is starring as Martin Luther King Jr., while Carmen Ejogo will take on the role of Coretta Scott King. Tom Wilkinson will play President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Pierce will play Reverend Hosea Williams, one of King's confidants and lieutenants in the civil rights movement. The project is currently filming in Atlanta.

The film's notable collection of producers includes Oprah Winfrey and her Harpo banner, Plan B's Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner (who produced Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave), and Christian Colson, who won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.

Pathe is financing the film, and the company's Cameron McCracken also is producing.

Emmy-winning actor Pierce played Det. "Bunk" Moreland on HBO's acclaimed series The Wire and starred on all four seasons of Treme. He'll next be seen on Showtime's Ray Donovan and CBS' midseason comedy The Odd Couple. He's repped by Paradigm and Essential Talent.

Email: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford

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