Rutledge in the wings as Oprah scouts city for ‘Selma’ movie

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer

The upcoming Paramount motion picture, Selma, a civil rights drama, will be partially filmed in Rutledge this summer. The biopic, set in the 1960s, is about the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the three infamous civil rights marches from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol in Montgomery, that were gruesomely thwarted by police and white rioters. On May 19, the Rutledge City Council unanimously voted to approve the usage of the Rutledge Baptist Church, the city park, and outside of the old jail house for filming scheduled for June 12.

The movie will star David Oyelowo, as Martin Luther King Jr., Carmen Ejogo, as Coretta Scott King. Other actors rumored to be in the film are Robert De Niro, Hugh Jackman, Tom Wilkinson, and Lenny Kravitz. The film also features Brad Pitt and Oprah Winfrey as producers. “This is a big deal for city,” said Brenda Thompson, city council member. “I think it’s going to be a really great film about such an important time in our history.” Paramount is compensating both the city and local businesses who may be inconvenienced by road closures during the day of filming.

“We haven’t yet agreed to an exact dollar amount,” said Thompson. “But we know they will give us $500 for the usage of the Baptist church and another $500 for parking and other usages.” Thompson noted that one of the film scouts “fell in love” with Rutledge, especially the church. “He said it was the only church in the country that looked like the church in Selma,” said Thompson. A release date for the film has not been announced yet.

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