By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 28, 2011 at 1:22AM
Last year, it looked like rising British stage actor David Oyelowo was about to get the biggest break of his career, taking on the pivotal role of Martin Luther King Jr. in Lee Daniels' "Selma." But as things unfortunately go sometimes, the project -- which would have found the thesp hanging out with dudes like Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson, Ray Winstone, Robert De Niro, and Cedric the Entertainer -- was scuttled. Oyelowo rebounded well enough, and has roles in "The Help," "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" and "Red Tails" around the corner, but Daniels hasn't forgotten about him.
The director has cast Oyelowo in his brewing adaptation of Pete Dexter's "The Paperboy." The film, which has had its own share of adventures thus far -- losing Tobey Maguire and Sofia Vergara and gaining John Cusack and possibly Nicole Kidman -- is a 1960s-era thriller that follows Ward James, a respected journalist, and his brother Jack, a college dropout, investigating the possible wrongful conviction of a death row inmate who was found guilty of killing the town’s sheriff in Florida. Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron are also set to star with R&B singer Maxwell also said to be taking a role as well. Oyelowo will play Yardley, who teams with Ward James -- played by McConaughey -- for the investigation.
Deadline offers up a mind boggling bit of info in addition to this casting. Apparently, while the Martin Luther King estate wasn't going to give their stamp of approval to "Selma" due to its references to the civil rights leader's infidelities, the film had financing in place from The Weinstein Company before Daniels himself opted not make the film and do "The Paperboy" instead. What could have been...