Nelsan Ellis, most widely known as Lafayette Reynolds on the HBO original series True Blood, has been selected by director Lee Daniels to play the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in his upcoming film, The Butler. The highly anticipated film chronicles the life of Eugene Allen, who worked as a white house butler for eight different presidents from 1952-1986.
Dr. King’s first visit to the White House was in 1958. He met with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and other civil rights leaders. Dr. King also had encounters with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He worked particularly closely with Johnson, meeting with him in 1964, 1965, and 1968 before his assassination in April of that year. It has not been confirmed yet which historic moments the True Blood star will be recreating.
Ellis is just the latest star to join an already star-stacked cast. Daniels previously cast Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey to play the lead roles of Eugene Allen and his wife. Matthew McConaughey is set to play JFK, alongside Minka Kelly as Jackie O. The cast will also include Robin Williams, Liev Schreiber, Colman Domingo, Cuba Gooding Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Terrence Howard, and several more well-known performers.
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