With The Company, Coco Before Chanel, Howl, Ginger & Rosa, Devil’s Knot and American Hustle under his belt, and a role in J.C. Chandor’s upcoming A Most Violent Year, Alessandro Nivola is quickly becoming the go-to actor for directors working on period pieces. Now, he’s added another one to his busy schedule in the form of civil rights biopic Selma.
Nivola will play civil rights activist John Doar in the movie, which Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere, ABC’s Scandal) is directing for Paramount and Pathe. Though the film is being marketed as a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, it actually focuses on “the three attempts of black marchers to walk from Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, in 1965 in order to gain voting rights. The first two times they were beaten back by police, and by the third time it had become a national crusade.”
Doar was one of many heroes who crusades for civil rights at the time of the marches. In the 1960s, he served as the assistant attorney general for civil rights for the Department of Justice, protecting freedom riders while also trying to find ways to take down civil rights violators. Doar was actually present at the third Selma march.
David Oyelowo will play King in the movie, and Carmen Ejogo is portraying Coretta Scott King. Tom Wilkinson will take on the role of President Lyndon B. Johnson. In supporting roles, Andre Holland plays activist Andrew Young, Omar J. Dorsey plays activist James Orange, Tessa Thompson plays student activist Diane Nash and Colman Domingo plays civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy, an associate of King. Oprah Winfrey is producing Selma through her Harpo banner ,alongside Brad Pitt from Plan B, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Christian Colson.
Expect Selma to be a major awards player when it’s released sometime in 2015.