Spike Lee has tapped Lucy Hale and Lucas Till to star in his civil rights drama “Son of the South,” which is based on the Bob Zellner autobiography, “The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement.”
The story centers on “Zellner, an Alabama native and grandson of a Ku Klux Klan member,” who is “pulled into the center of the civil rights movement in 1961,” Variety writes. Till is starring as Zellner and Hale as Carol Ann, Zellner’s college girlfriend. Lex Scott Davis has also been cast along with Julia Ormond, Cedric the Entertainer as Reverend Ralph Abernathy and Sharonne Lanier as Rosa Parks. Brian Dennehy will portray Zellner’s grandfather while Chaka Forman plays his activist father Jim Forman, according to the report.
Lee is executive producing with his longtime editor Barry Alexander Brown, who is also directing from his own screenplay.
“Son of the South” has started shooting in Montgomery, Ala., where many of the events took place. Tuskegee University recently served as a location for scenes of the upcoming film, WSFA 12 News reports.
“When it came down to where to shoot this film, I thought for Alabama, because we really should be shooting this movie here. A lot of the story takes place in Montgomery and the places that some of those actual events in the movie happen – they are still there. I really get a kick out of shooting this film in Tuskegee because it has a wonderful history,” said Brown.
University officials are thrilled about playing a role in the making of the project.
“It’s real interesting, because Tuskegee isn’t part of this story, but so many of the characters that are being represented in the movie, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, intersected with Tuskegee’s history time and time again,” said Tuskegee University Public Relations Director Michael Tullier. “Of course Rosa Parks being local to Tuskegee, so it is interesting to be part of not only this particular story but to remind people of the role that Tuskegee University has had throughout the civil rights movement.”
Till says he hopes “Son of the South” leaves a lasting impression with viewers.
“This is entertaining and it tells it how it is, and it’s about this guy that the civil rights movement happens to. He doesn’t happen to the civil rights movement, so it’s from his perspective. So, I hope that people can take away something entertaining and while they’re watching it they learn a lot and they don’t even know that they are,” he said.
The film is expected to be released later this year.