U.S. President Barack Obama is getting the film treatment, but curiously, the pic in question takes place before the politican ever entered the Oval Office – Southside With You is an indie romance that will center on the first date of the President and his future First Lady. Tika Sumpter (Ride Along) had already been cast in the latter role, and now it’s been revealed that Parker Sawyers has been tapped to channel a young Barack Obama.
Sawyers has been on the rise for a while, after bit parts in Zero Dark Thirty and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit led to larger ones in Monsters: Dark Continent and the upcoming Spectral. The London-based actor also just wrapped Snowden, directed by Oliver Stone. He’s certainly a surprising, outside-the-box choice to play the Commander in Chief, given his lack of exposure, but IM Global is emphasizing Southside With You as a small, independent film, not a statement on the sometimes-controversial president’s decisions in office.
As previously stated, the movie will chart the eventful first date of young associate Barack Obama and lawyer Michelle Robinson, as he courted her over the course of one 1989 summer afternoon and evening on a date that took them all around Chicago. Highlights included a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, a screening of Do the Right Thing and the pair’s first kiss outside an ice cream parlor.
On paper, turning the Obamas into romantic leads sounds absurd, but the idea of confining Southside With You to one day suggests a focused character piece that could provide some intriguing insights about the man who would become one of the world’s most powerful people. If Tanne uses Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise trilogy as an inspiration, what he comes up with could be quite interesting.
Richard Tanne will direct from a script he wrote.
No release date has been set for Southside With You but expect to see this one sometime nexr year.