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Chiwetel Ejiofor Will Play A Freed Slave Who Hunts In “Savannah”

Chiwetel Ejiofor where art thou? It’s terrible that this guy doesn’t appear to be much in demand – nowhere as near as I think he should be. I’m basing this entirely on his IMDB page which shows that he has just 1 guaranteed upcoming film, currently in post-production. It’s one of those ensemble pieces.

Other than that, there’s nothing else listed that we could say is certain. We know about the Fela biopic which he was announced to be attached to several months ago, but little has been reported about that project since the initial announcement. The last piece of news released about it from Focus Features, the company behind it, suggests that it’s in development limbo, with no ETA on when it’ll actually go into production. Chiwetel may not even be attached anymore, for all we know.

Today brings news that he’s set to star alongside James Caviezel in a drama titled Savannah - yet another historical epic, based on real events, set during post-Civil War, Jim Crow-era days. There seems to be a number of those in the pipeline.

According to Variety, Caviezel will star as the real-life, “well-educated, eccentric, larger-than-life hunter” named Ward Allen who develops a unique friendship with a freed slave named Christmas Moultrie, played by Ejiofor.

The film is loosely based on a book by John Eugene Cay, Jr., titled, Ducks, Dogs and Friends, which tells the story of Christmas Moultrie (the last slave born on the historical Mulberry Grove Plantation, where the Cotton Gin was invented), who hunted on the Savannah River, together with Ward Allen, and his Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

I’m not familiar with the novel, and I couldn’t find much about it actually. The author reportedly self-published it in 1979, and it’s only 47 pages long (according to Amazon.com).

If you’ve read it, fill the rest of us in on plot and character portrayals.

Principal photography is scheduled to begin on February 14th in Savannah, Ga.

Annette Haywood-Carter (Foxfire) is writing and directing.

I want to be happy that the brotha is getting work, but this just doesn’t immediately appeal to me.

More when I know more…

8 comments to Chiwetel Ejiofor Will Play A Freed Slave Who Hunts In “Savannah”

  • Cordell

    Chiwetel is such an amazing actor. For some reason I bet this role will be the one to get an Oscar nomination after being snub for performances in Dirty Pretty Things and Talk to Me.

  • Dee

    The man is electric.
    One regret of the last couple of years is missing him playing Othello opposite Ewan McGregor.

  • He’s amazing. Period. He blew it out of the water in Endgame as Thabo Mbeki on Masterpiece on PBS. It might still be streaming on there if not on Netflix.
    I think he does a lot of theater in the UK as well.

    He’s my ideal choice for the next Doctor Who but he’d never do it.

  • I just watched him last night in FOUR BROTHERS. Chiwetel is always good and every thing he does. Still…not feeling this slave/former slave/sorta-kinda slave storyline. BUT bills to pay and careers to keep in play so it is what it is. :insert Kanye shrug:

  • michaboa

    I was following him on twitter ( before he quit ii), and he said he was taking a little break from acting and postponed some of the projects he was working/about to work on.

  • I think more Chiwetel has had more recent high-profile roles than Jim. …And is arguably more well-known.

    Why couldn’t the film have been about him and his white friend, with his name being the top above the marquee name, instead of the other way around?