Rockdale’s courthouse will be temporarily transformed into a Hollywood stage to represent one of the important legal arenas in the Civil Rights movement when the movie “Selma,” comes to Conyers.
The Rockdale County courthouse, specifically Judge Munfords’s court, will be used to film scenes of Alabama federal Judge Frank Johnson’s courtroom, where he ruled on cases affecting the Civil Rights movement and allowed the 1965 march in Selma, Alabama to take place. Rockdale County Superior Court Judge Robert Mumford quipped that the director hadn’t asked him to play Judge Johnson because they apparently already had “someone named Martin Sheen.”
The movie is being co-produced by Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt among others, and will be filming here during the last week of May. Judge Mumford said he will be out of town that week for a training conference and was not due to hold court that week, making the space available.
Paramount Pictures is backing the project and the film is being directed by Ava DuVernay, who was the first black woman to win a Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award for her 2012 film “Middle of Nowhere,” which starred David Oyelowo, who will play Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in “Selma.” Deadline Hollywood, which first reported Oprah Winfrey’s involvement, said “Selma” is the second MLK Jr. project Winfrey has been involved with, noting her Harpo Productions company is behind a seven-part HBO miniseries “America: In the King Years.”