Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman, whose on-screen resume already includes multiple portraits of high government officials, will play former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in the biopic Powell from director Reginald Hudlin. Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman can currently be seen playing a pre-Supreme Court Thurgood Marshall in Marshall, another Reginald Hudlin-directed biopic.
Vietnam War veteran and four-star general Powell began his Washington career as National Security Advisor under Ronald Reagan, later going on to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and finally Secretary of State under George W. Bush. As Secretary of State, Powell controversially helped sell the United Nations on the United States’ invasion of Iraq by offering alleged evidence of WMDs in a televised presentation.
THR reports that Morgan Freeman, a man who has played many a powerful person in his day, will tackle the role of Colin Powell in a biopic from Marshall director Reginald Hudlin. Ed Whitworth penned the script, a 2011 Black List selection, which covers Powell’s controversial time in George W. Bush’s White House. The movie is being produced by Hyde Park Entertainment and Freeman’s own Revelations Entertainment, with Freeman getting an executive producer credit.
With his commanding presence and smooth vocal delivery, Freeman has long been considered one of Hollywood’s best actors at portraying government officials and other people in positions of authority. Freeman’s first memorable man-in-charge role came in 1989 when he played hard-nosed principal Joe Clark in the biopic Lean On Me. Freeman played the president in the disaster movie Deep Impact, and later played Speaker of the House and then vice-president Trumbull in the Gerard Butler action vehicles Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen. The actor has been a Supreme Court justice too, playing Chief Justice Wilbourne on the series Madame Secretary. He reached the pinnacle of his career playing powerful entities when he tackled the role of God in Bruce Almighty and its sequel Evan Almighty.
Freeman has also portrayed more than his share of military men, playing Sgt. Major John Rawlins in the sprawling war epic Glory, General Billy Ford in the thriller Outbreak and Col. Abraham Curtis (of the memorably bizarre eyebrows) in the notoriously bad Stephen King adaptation Dreamcatcher. Freeman has played a handful of notable real-life figures over the course of his career as well, including Malcolm X in an early-career TV movie and Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s Invictus. Freeman has five Oscar nominations, winning Best Supporting Actor in 2005 for Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby.
With Marshall garnering good reviews, Hudlin is a director gaining steam in Hollywood, and his Powell biopic with Freeman in the lead is sure to be on a lot of people’s radar screens as a possible awards contender when it arrives in theaters.