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'After success of The Butler, Hollywood HAD to make Selma'

BLACK POWER: Selma was directed by Ava DuVernay (right), produced by Oprah Winfrey (left) and stars British actor David Oyelowo (centre)

BRITISH ACTOR David Oyelowo revealed that it took over seven years to get Selma off the ground because no director thought a film about Martin Luther King would make any money.

Oyelowo, 38, claims that it wasn't until the success of other black films 12 Years a Slave and The Butler that Hollywood "ran out of excuses" not to make the film.

"Not since [the 1992 film] Malcolm X have you seen a film like Selma", the actor told The Voice.

"What has happened in the past, is white protagonists have been crowbarred into the narrative to make them the hero of the movie, and you can’t make a Martin Luther King film with some white, hot, young actor."

Oyelowo, who was born in Oxford and moved to LA in 2007, continued: "I first read the script in 2007, and directors came and went because there was always a problem with the budget. They’d say ‘oh we can’t make it for that much money because it’s not going to make much money’.

"It’s not until 12 Years a Slave came along and The Butler came along and they were critically received and did great in the box office, that I truly think Hollywood ran out of excuses not to make a Martin Luther King film."

Read the full David Oyelowo interview, coming soon in Life & Style

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