Watch The New “Selma” Trailer

November 7, 2014  |  

We’ve been murmuring and talking about the making of Ava DuVernay’s latest film, Selma for more than a year now. Before Lee Daniels’ The Butler was even released into theaters, we learned that DuVernay had been tapped to direct a film not only about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also about the historic voting and civil rights campaign in 1965.

Now, after a year of talk, announcements of every Black person you’ve ever seen on screen being a part of this film and more, there’s finally a trailer.

And it looks ah-maze-ing.

Take a look at it below and then we get into more of the details afterward.

We’ve been talking about the film so long because, as most movies featuring a predominately Black cast, it took a while for it all to come together.

This particular movie has been in development for years with everyone from Spike Lee, Lee Daniels and Steven Spielberg being associated with the project. DuVernay was hired after David Oyelowo, who will play King and was one of the lead characters is DuVernay’s Middle of Nowhere, suggested her name. And then Oprah got involved as a producer. And the ball really got rolling.

In an interview with Yahoo Movies, DuVernay said that Oprah, as she has been known to do, got stuff done.

“She was active and engaged and constantly on the set. She moved the waters like Moses: She held up her staff, and they parted, and we were able to go through and make the movie. She was a producer, and that’s working on financing, physical production, casting, permits, insurances — it gets really boring and unsexy at some point. But I’m able to say I’ve heard Oprah Winfrey on an insurance bond call. She did it all.” 

And while it might seem that since Oprah was putting her money behind the project, she’d also want to be in front of the camera as well, that wasn’t exactly the case. Instead, she had to be heavily persuaded to take the role of Anna Lee Cooper.

“That took a lot of convincing. She’d just come off “The Butler,” and she wasn’t seeking a part in Selma. So I had to ask her four times. She kept putting it off, until I was able to show her some background materials on the character I wanted her to play. She was the perfect person for the part. I had to wage a full campaign to get her to play it.”

DuVernay is said to be working feverishly to finish the film but keeping one eye on her project and the other on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

“It really just proves that these issues are on a continuum. Until we really understand where they started and what’s happened, they’ll just continue to happen. I was grappling with the footage in the editing room: On one screen, I’m looking at my footage, and [then] I turn my head and I’m watching CNN and MSNBC on the other [screen], and I’m seeing the same thing. A whole small town that had to face an aggressive police force and had to grapple with, ‘Do we throw rocks? What do we do?’ We just went through Selma again, collectively.”

Selma opens in select theaters on Christmas Day (December 25) and then gets an expanded release on January 9.

And in promotion of the film and to illustrate the type of injustices Blacks in this country faced, see if you could pass this voter eligibility test on the next page.

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