Selma duo Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo to reunite for Hurricane Katrina film

The director and actor were both snubbed from in the Oscar nominations

Jess Denham
Tuesday 27 January 2015 10:44 GMT
Selma's Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo are teaming up for a Hurricane Katrina drama
Selma's Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo are teaming up for a Hurricane Katrina drama (Getty Images)

Fresh from their work on Selma, director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo are reuniting for a “sweeping love story and complex murder mystery” set during Hurricane Katrina.

Oyelowo is in talks to star in the as-yet-untitled film, while DuVernay will write, produce and direct.

The acclaimed duo will be teaming up for the third time, after also working together on Middle of Nowhere, which won DuVernay the Best Director prize at 2012’s Sundance Film Festival.

“The story we’re interested in will explore the complexities of intimate relationships within times of chaos, while also examining the chaos itself,” DuVernay said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to the journey.”

Hurricane Katrina became one of the deadliest and costliest natural disasters in US history when it hit land in 2005. More than 1,800 people died, primarily in New Orleans, and property damage was estimated at $108 billion.

“Hurricane Katrina is one of the most important social and environmental stories of our time,” said executive producer Jonathan King. “Ava DuVernay has shown herself to be highly skilled at bringing intimacy and contemporary urgency to epic events.”

To date, Selma has grossed almost $40 million at the box office and earned a Best Picture Oscar nomination earlier this month. However, both DuVernay and Oyelowo were snubbed for their roles in the film and did not feature in the Baftas shortlist either, sparking accusations of racism and “whitewashing” in Hollywood.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs responded to criticism, insisting that the organisation is “committed to seeking out diversity of voice and opinion”.

Oyelowo will next be seen starring alongside Lupita Nyong’o in Queen of Katwe, while DuVernay will direct a cable TV series about the black experience in America.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in