The title role of the Colin Powell biopic, Powell has finally been cast, and the part will be played by none other than Morgan Freeman. The beloved, 80-year-old actor has appeared in everything from Driving Miss Daisy to The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus over the years, and will now portray the U.S.A.’s first black Secretary of State. Reginald Hudlin (Marshall) is directing the film, from Hyde Park Entertainment and Revelations Entertainment, with a script from Ed Whitworth. Said script was on the 2011 Black List.
The film is set during George W. Bush’s tenure as President, in the days following 9/11. Powell initially opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq that followed those attacks, calling for further intelligence and research into whether the Iraqi dictator could be harboring weapons of mass destruction. However, he eventually relented into pushing the American war agenda, making a case for the war to the United Nations Security Council, using evidence that would later be discredited or proven false. Powell himself has stated in recent years that he regretted many of these actions. The script for Powell follows this storyline, as the Secretary of State prepares for his UN presentation, and presumably isn’t treating its subject with a lionizing portrayal as a result.
It’s potentially a big, meaty, “awards show” bait-type role for Freeman, whose career has been sort of all over the place in recent years. At times he seems to be in a goodwill tour phase of his late career, accepting both dramatic and cash-grab comedic roles with equal regularity. Most recently, he was in the critically drubbed comedy heist film Going in Style, and he also will appear in Disney’s upcoming The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. We’ll see if Powell represents a chance for one more Academy Award nomination.