Paramount had no comment.
The drama follows MLK’s landmark 1965 voting rights campaign, which is regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement.
Stanfield is set to play Jimmie Lee Jackson, the good-natured son of Viola Jackson and the grandson of Cager Lee. A third-generation member of a family devoted to the Civil Rights Movement, Jimmie Lee is a young veteran of protest marches who attends all of MLK’s speeches in Selma, Ala., and he becomes a rallying point in the fight for equal voting rights.
DuVernay (“Middle of Nowhere”) rewrote Paul Webb’s original screenplay, and it was her draft that convinced Winfrey to join the project.
Stanfield has parlayed the success of “Short Term 12” into a supporting role in Universal’s sequel “The Purge: Anarchy” and a fruitful collaboration with James Franco. Stanfield recently worked with Franco on “Memoria,” and they’re reteaming on Franco’s newest project “American History,” which is currently shooting.
Stanfield is represented by Innovative Artists and IAM Entertainment.