Rafe Spall has gradually progressed in the last few years from a cog in the Edgar Wright machine (Shaun, Hot Fuzz, the Don't trailer in Grindhouse), to starring roles on TV (Channel 4's Pete Vs Life) to supporting roles in big movies (Prometheus). Now the role of Leading Man beckons: Spall will top the cast of Son Of The South, an American civil rights drama to be exec-produced by Spike Lee.
The film will be directed by long-time Lee collaborator Barry Alexander Brown, and is based on Bob Zellner's autobiography The Wrong Side Of Murder Creek. Zellner grew up in Alabama, and made rather different life choices to his family, which included generations of Klansmen. He began researching civil rights while at church school in the 1960s - ignoring opposition from his professors and fellow students - and soon began joining black protestors on sit-ins, marches, and various other demonstrations against institutional Southern racism.
He ultimately became secretary of the human rights group the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committe), and remains a dedicated champion of social change and justice for all.
Spall, obviously enough, will play Zellner in the film, and he'll be joined by Jacqueline Emerson (The Hunger Games' Foxface) as Zellner's fiance Carol Anne. Further supporting roles will be inhabited by Saskia Reeves, Lou Gosset Jr, Clint Dyer, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. Chaka Forman will play his own father, the civil rights leader Jim Forman.
There doesn't seem to be a start-date yet. Spall's most recent project, the Working Title rom-com I Give It A Year with Rose Byrne and Anna Faris, is currently in post-production.