Tom Wilkinson in demand to play LBJ in new Martin Luther King movie Selma

The British actor is reportedly being eyed for a role in Ava DuVernay's drama

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The Independent Culture

Tom Wilkinson has been tipped for a leading role in the forthcoming Martin Luther King movie Selma, it has been reported.

The British actor, 66, is currently starring in Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, but Paramount producers are eyeing him for the planned project, according to The Wrap.

Oscar-nominee Wilkinson (In the Bedroom, Michael Clayton) would be playing former US president Lyndon B Johnson alongside David Oyelowo.

Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere) has signed on to direct her own rewritten version of Paul Webb’s screenplay, with Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt (12 Years a Slave) on board to produce.

Efforts to make a film about the civil rights leader's life have been difficult in the past, with Selma coming closest so far. Lee Daniels, Hugh Jackman and Liam Neeson have all been attached to the project at various points.

The drama will follow King's key 1965 campaign for voting rights, often regarded as a landmark moment in the civil rights movement. Johnson gave a memorable speech in support a week after fierce racial violence was sparked by the historic march in Selma, Alabama.

Wilkinson will next be seen in Joel Edgerton's thriller Felony and Vince Vaughn's comedy Business or Pleasure, as well as Good People, Little Boy and Jenny's Wedding.