After starring as Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed movie Selma, David Oyelowo revealed in a recent interview that another big-name director is trying to get him to reprise his role as the civil rights leader.
In an interview with Esquire, Oyelowo stated that Steven Spielberg has asked him to portray King in his upcoming biopic: “I was at an event for AFI during award season and Steven Spielberg—who has famously been interested in making his own Martin Luther King film—came up to me and said, ‘My goodness, David, that’s one of the best things I have ever seen. You really inspired me to take another look at my Dr. King film.’ And then he goes, ‘You would reprise the role, right? You would do it again?’
“My stomach all but fell out of my body,” Oyelowo said. “I was just like, ‘Oh, my lord.’ That was quite a mountain to climb. Not only did the idea of being asked to do it again give me pause, but here he is, Steven Spielberg of all people, [asking] if I would entertain doing it again.”
What many people don’t realize or remember is that Spielberg owns the life rights to King and would be able to use his actual speeches in his biopic. Spielberg’s biopic has been in talks for years, but nothing has come of it as of yet.
Oyelowo also stated that others have approached him about reprising the role. But it seems as though the added weight may be an issue for him.
“I really don’t know. I’ve already been asked by a project that will remain nameless,” he said. “To be honest, right now, today, I couldn’t think of anything worse. Just the weight gain alone is a reason for me to stay away from it! But I feel like we did so much with that film. It’s time to let that film do its thing for a while before I go entertaining anything like that.”
It’s amazing how people are now wanting to bring King’s life story to the big screen after seeing the success of DuVernay’s film. We see you, Hollywood. When white Hollywood can’t innovate, it definitely knows how to duplicate.