Two-time Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson is being eyed to play President Lyndon B. Johnson alongside David Oyelowo in Ava DuVernay’s MLK movie “Selma,” an individual familiar with the Paramount project told TheWrap.
Paramount had no comment, while a representative for Wilkinson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The drama follows MLK’s landmark 1965 voting rights campaign, which is regarded as the peak of the civil rights movement. Wilkinson is in early talks to play LBJ, who gave an eloquent speech about voting rights one week after deadly racial violence erupted in Selma, Alabama.
Former publicist DuVernay (“Middle of Nowhere”) rewrote Paul Webb’s original screenplay, and it was her draft that convinced Winfrey to join the project.
Wilkinson, who received Oscar nominations for his performances in “In the Bedroom” and “Michael Clayton,” recently starred in “The Lone Ranger” and can currently be seen in Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
His upcoming movies include the Joel Edgerton thriller “Felony,” the Vince Vaughn comedy “Business or Pleasure,” the James Franco thriller “Good People,” the Kevin James dramedy “Little Boy” and the Katherine Heigl comedy “Jenny’s Wedding.”
He’s repped by Principal Entertainment LA and Lou Coulson Associates.