Oprah Winfrey Joins MLK Drama 'Selma' as Producer (Exclusive)

Borys Kit
The Hollywood Reporter

Oprah Winfrey is coming on board to act as a producer on Selma, the drama about the historic civic rights marches that has David Oyelowo portraying Martin Luther King Jr.

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The move puts her in company with Brad Pitt, who is already on board as a producer via his Plan B production company, and its execs Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner. Plan B was behind 12 Years a Slave, the slave drama that just nabbed 10 Oscar nominations.

Also producing Selma is Christian Coulson, who won an Oscar for producing Slumdog Millionaire. Pathe, the company which financed last year's Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is financing Selma, and the company’s Cameron McKracken is also producing.

Selma details the attempts of black marchers to walk from Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama,  in 1965 in order to gain voting rights, only to be beaten back by police. It took the organizers three attempts to make the journey, which swelled in numbers each time. It was also a critical time in King’s life

"It’s a subject matter close to her heart," said Ava DuVernay, who is directing the movie. "The producers are behind some of the most forward-thinking movies of last year and they are all coming together."

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Winfrey played Oyelowo's mother in Lee Daniels' The Butler and seems to be making more moves into movies after a long absence. She is also producing The Hundred-Foot Journey for DreamWorks.