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Cuba Gooding Jr. Joins Cast Of Ava DuVernay’s 'Selma' (And Maybe A Cannes Premiere?)

by Sergio
May 31, 2014 10:59 AM
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Cuba Gooding Jr.

You have to admit that Selma is becoming one the most anticipated films to see, with one the most impressive and interesting casts of any film in recent memory.

The film, which deals with Martin Luther King's voting rights campaign in the South in 1965, stars David Oyelowo playing MLK, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lorraine Toussaint, Ledisi, Common, Wendell Pierce, Martin Sheen, and now Cuba Gooding Jr. has joined the project.

Gooding will play the attorney and activist Fred Grey in the film, which started shooting two weeks ago in Georgia, and is being produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company, Oprah Winfrey, Pathe, among others, and will be released theatrically by Paramount.

Given the film’s subject matter, the cast, the director, the fact that both Pitt and Winfrey are two of the producers involved, as well as the production's overall pedigree, where will the film make its premiere?

I’m betting that a Cannes Film Festival debut next year is very possible. Along with all that I have stated above, as well as Pitt’s long association with the festival, I wouldn't be surprised if discussions are going on right now about a possible Cannes premiere in 2015.

Besides, all the media hype that will surround all those actors, along with Winfrey and Pitt, on the red carpet for a Cannes premiere, would likely be just too much to resist.

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  • Alias | May 31, 2014 11:39 PMReply

    Although there were a lot of "name" actors in "The Butler," my recollection of the publicity leading up to its release -- and not during pre-production or while in production -- wasn't a lot of name dropping about the whose who of casting. Really, it wasn't until the movie was released that people talked about who was in the cast and why. ...It was much more organic. Really, the only BIG announcement was when Oprah joined the cast. ... And she did a good job as Gloria. Didn't detract from the piece, as a whole, which was very important. ... As for the likes of Common. Well, he distracts from everything he's in. He can't act and it doesn't feel like he's earned the right to be part of the cast. I don't understand how, or why, he continues to receive opportunities to act over ACTUAL black working actors in Hollywood. ... It's not like he has some super strong following -- either as a rapper or a wannabe actor.

    This has nothing to do with Ava being a woman, I simply think some -- myself included -- are a little disappointed that she's not using more unrecognizable talent, as she has previously, and allowing them to shine. I wish she'd go more the Spike Lee early days route and use black actors who are unknown and underutilized and give them a chance to shine.

  • Donella | June 2, 2014 4:36 PM

    Common's been acting in film and television for about ten years now. About ten years longer than unknowns.

    How much longer will he have to act before he's considered an "actor?"

  • Carl | May 31, 2014 9:21 PMReply

    Big names? Sergio, I know Ava is a friend of S & A but do you have to bullshit us to sell this TV movie that will also happen to hit theaters?

  • DJ | June 2, 2014 4:54 PM


  • Nikki | May 31, 2014 8:49 PMReply

    TBH, there aren't many big names in this film. Since when was Ledisi a big name? Tom Wilkinson, Common and Cuba are probably the most known out of the cast.

  • OMg | May 31, 2014 3:17 PMReply

    OMG. I love Ava but does every character in this movie have to be plaid by a big name actor or singer?

    This has got to be the film with the biggest name dropping ever.

    I wonder what this means for expenses.

  • Thomas | May 31, 2014 10:31 PM

    "Plaid"? I think you meant "played". "Plaid" is the kind of shirt the Brawny Man wears.

  • Umm | May 31, 2014 5:06 PM

    Her gender has nothing to do with it.

    I find it weird. I'm pretty sure this has more of this kind of casting than Butler.

    I suppose if anything it should draw audiences. I just don't want to be looking at a film of this stature and be thinking "Oh, there's Common the rapper on my screen." There's this. There's that. Seems like cameos to me.

  • Sergio | May 31, 2014 4:00 PM

    It means that everyone is working for scale on the movie and thinks this is prestige film to be involved in . No one is getting rich off it and besides having all those recognizable names in the movies won't hurt it at the box office. It sure didn't hurt Lee Daniel's The Butler and yet no one complained about that. How come people have a problem with it on DuVernay's film?Because she's a woman?

  • bread free | May 31, 2014 2:10 PMReply

    You pulled that out of thin air. Sure Cannes has hosted black films in and out of competition. But I have yet to remember a title that made an impact of Cannes that was black themed that was widely embraced aboard and stateside.

    Oprah wants Academy recognition. And considering every time she shops in Europe these days there's a controversy. Please. Cannes is an inflated institution.

  • Black gay | May 31, 2014 8:11 PM

    Not only did many of Spike Lee's films make an impact but they created a special supporting actor award for Samuel Jackson because he was so good in Jungle Fever. Something they had never been done and hasn't been done since!

    Also, you guys forgot about films like Black Orpheus. So many others.

    Eat more bread indeed!

  • Bread Free | May 31, 2014 4:47 PM

    Precious played UnCertain Regard.

    And I knew Spike Lee competed at Cannes and The Color Purple screened there out of competition. But again. They hardly break for black. The Academy has shown more interest.

  • sergio | May 31, 2014 4:10 PM

    P.S. I forgot also what about Precious that played in competition at Cannes and last year Fruitvale Station which was also in competition for for which Ryan Coogler won the Prix de l'Avenir d'Un Certain Regard awarded to the most important upcoming director to watch. I can see Selma fitting right in there with those other films I've mentioned

  • sergio | May 31, 2014 3:48 PM

    "But I have yet to remember a title that made an impact of Cannes that was black themed that was widely embraced aboard and stateside"

    You're forgotten ( or most likely don't know about) She's Gotta Have it, Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever all three either premiered or were shown in competition at Cannes. You should eat more bread

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