Lee Daniels, the expert director of this year’s likely Oscar-contender Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire , is in advanced negotiations to direct Selma, a piece about the 1965 march in Alabama that marked “the political and emotional peak of the civil rights movement.” Christian Colson of Slumdog Millionaire fame and Pathé U.K. are set to produce. Hit the jump for more details and my brief thoughts on Precious.
Paul Webb, a playwright with a few upcoming features to his name including Steven Spielberg’s long-in-development Lincoln (which last we heard was in the hands of playwright Tony Kushner), wrote the project and Plan B–Brad Pitt’s, Dede Gardner’s and Jeremy Kleiner’s company–is coming in to co-produce.
It doesn’t take a genius to tell this project is being set up for some serious awards consideration in 2010 should it complete production and hit theaters next year. Daniels’ Precious, which I had the distinct pleasure of seeing a few weeks ago, is an utterly amazing film with some of the most notable performances of the year. While there’s no cast yet and they’re still working out the budget, Selma should have some support not only because of its subject matter, but because of the success of Precious both critically and at the box office. Last weekend, Precious, which only cost $10 million to make, took in $5,874,628 off 174 screens for an average of $33,762/screen. I very much look forward to seeing what Daniels will do with Selma; I just hope I remember to bring tissues with me this time.