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Hugh Jackman Cast In Lee Daniels’ “Selma”


I’d heard rumors about this, but decided to wait for some confirmation before posting anything here. I guess this is as close to a confirmation as we can get right now. In an interview with USA Today, posted on their website yesterday, Lee Daniels said the following, regarding his upcoming film, Selma.

“I had to do a lot of homework on the script, and I spent a lot of time writing. I feel like I’m caught up a little bit with that [...] I have to really start casting the movie because we’re shooting it soon. The only person I’ve nailed in for sure is Hugh Jackman.”

Say what? Hugh Jackman? What role in Selma could Jackman possibly play? The 2 main characters in the film, from all we’ve posted about the film thus far are, Martin Luther King Jr and Lyndon B. Johnson. We’ve already heard that Robert DeNiro is in consideration to play George Wallace, the then governor of Alabama and 4-time presidential candidate, who was vehemently in favor of keeping his state racially segregated, provoking MLK’s famous marches between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama in the early 1960s – a period Selma, the film, will cover.

So, might Jackman be playing LBJ, then? That would be a bit of a stretch wouldn’t it? Based on the casting sheet I saw last November, I don’t recall any other role that a star, the caliber of Jackman, could play. I don’t see him taking on some bit part. Unless the casting sheet has changed since I last laid eyes on it. LBJ was in his mid-to-late 50s during the period that the film takes place; Jackman is 41, and there’s absolutely no resemblance. Unless we’re talking a make-up job here.

Am I missing something here?

According to the USA Today interview, Daniels hopes to start shooting the film in May – just 2 months away – and they still haven’t cast the major roles yet? It’s crunch time baby! They keep pushing it back, if previous reports have been accurate. At the time I saw the casting notice, it was stated that production would begin in January.

7 comments to Hugh Jackman Cast In Lee Daniels’ “Selma”

  • Jen

    I don´t know why Jackman would refuse to take some smaller part. I don´t think it would be a problem for him. But from what I know about characters involved, maybe James Reeb? A supporting role? He doesn´t have much time if they really want to start on May. Jackman has Avon Man during April and Real Steel in the middle of June.

  • AccidentalVisitor

    Lee Fuckin’ Daniels. That’s all I have to say.

  • happybrowngirl

    I hope he doesn’t destroy this film the way Singleton destroyed Rosewood, which also had great acting in it…

  • I’ve ceased to have a problem with Mr Daniels’ casting choices, whether its’s Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball or Helen Mirren (not such a shocking choice, actually) in Shadowboxer.

    On first hearing that Monique, Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz were going to be in Precious, I recall refrains (even from myself) of “say what?” Mariah and Lenny’s parts weren’t exactly the kinds of roles we’ d expect them to play, nor were they huge, and Monique has been nominated (and is likely to win) an Oscar, as did Berry (for whatever dubious reaasons).

    So Daniels likes to colour outside the lines a little… In other words, he has an adventurous and imaginative mind – particularly when it comes to casting (which, I believe, was a former full-time gig of his).

    • To be clear, I don’t have a problem with Jackman as a casting choice; I’m just wondering what role he’s been cast to play, as none of the roles in the film, based on the casting sheet I’ve seen, fit him in the slightest. So it’s not a case of any of the roles not being the kinds of roles we’d expect him to play; they just don’t fit him physically, or otherwise. This is a fact-based drama, retelling real-life events, so Daniels can’t afford to be too adventurous or imaginative with his casting choices as he’s been for previous fictional tales, where he could afford to be. Unless he’s doing a Julie Taymor and turning the story on its head, which I don’t believe he is. Or, unless it is indeed a relatively minor role. Jackman is a mega Hollywood star, and it’s rare (but not out of the question) for stars like him to take minor roles, unless it’s a role that’s just so perfect for him he couldn’t pass it up. And if that’s the case, then great! I’m definitely anxious to see the entire cast that ends up in this particular film.

      • You said:

        “none of the roles in the film, based on the casting sheet I’ve seen, fit him in the slightest”

        Exactly. What I was trying to say is that Daniels is good at casting people in roles that don’t seemingly fit them in the slightest. Daniels seems to be able to see casting opportunities where most of us don’t – and they tend to work out.