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‘Short Term 12’ Star Keith Stanfield Joins Ava DuVernay’s MLK Movie ‘Selma’ (Exclusive)

David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo will star as Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King

Fresh off an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his breakout performance in “Short Term 12,” Keith Stanfield has joined the cast of Ava DuVernay’s MLK movie “Selma,” TheWrap has learned.

Paramount had no comment.

Oprah Winfrey is producing with Brad Pitt and his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, as well as Christian Coulson and Pathe’s Cameron McCracken.

Also read: ‘Short Term 12’ Star Keith Stanfield on His Breakthrough Role and Song: ‘There’s Been a Snowball Effect’

The drama follows MLK’s landmark 1965 voting rights campaign, which is regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement.

David Oyelowo will play Martin Luther King Jr., while Carmen Ejogo will play Coretta Scott King. Tom Wilkinson will co-star as President Lyndon B. Johnson, as TheWrap first reported.

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.

Also read: ‘Short Term 12’ Star Keith Stanfield to Join Frank Grillo in ‘The Purge 2’ (Exclusive)

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.

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