Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor are set to star in “Talk to Me,” a biopic about an ex-con turned DJ who became a prominent voice for the D.C. black community during the 1960s.
Cheadle will play Ralph Waldo “Petey” Green, who with his producer, Dewey Hughes (Ejiofor), fought to stay on the air at a white-owned station during the civil rights movement.
Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”) will helm from a script penned by Michael Genet with revisions from Rick Famuyiwa and Lemmons.
Focus Features has picked up domestic rights from Sidney Kimmel Ent., which is financing the pic and plans to market foreign territories at this month’s Cannes film fest.
Production is skedded for June with Mark Gordon and Sidney Kimmel producing along with Pelagius Films’ Joe Fries and Gordon Co. exec VP Josh McLaughlin. Exec producing are SKE’s prexy William Horberg, Bruce Toll, Pelagius’ Joey Rappa, Cheadle and J. Miles Dale.
“We’ve been slugging away on this for over five years,” said Gordon, who began developing the pic as a spec with Fox 2000. “It’s a story I’ve been in love with for a very long time.”Cheadle’s recent credits include “Crash” and “Hotel Rwanda.” Ejiofor can be seen in “Kinky Boots” and “Inside Man.”
Gordon is in post on Roland Emmerich’s “10,000 B.C.” and recently wrapped on Lasse Halstrom’s “The Hoax” and “The Painted Veil.”
Recent Sidney Kimmel Entertainment-financed pics include Universal’s “United 93” and Billy Ray’s upcoming spy thriller “Breach.”