‘Selma’ Director Ava Duvernay Was Not Allowed to Use Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s Speeches in Film


Director Ava Duvernay was not allowed to use Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s iconic speeches for her film Selma, so she had to create her own. Doesn’t sound too stressful at all does it?

Duvernay managed to do such a good job at writing speeches for David Oyelowo to deliver that she actually left Oprah Winfrey speechless.

“We were not allowed to use any of King’s original speeches – they belonged to someone else. There were times we needed another scene and Ava would channel Dr. King and write it,” Winfrey said. “Every single word coming out of David’s mouth for those speeches, Ava wrote them.

“She did it in such a way that in the end Bernice King said it was the best interpretation of her father.”

Selma was released in theaters on Christmas Day.

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