Follow Us on Twitter

Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo in talks for Seretse Khama racial drama

Rosamund Pike in Made in Dagenham

Story by Jack Foley

ROSAMUND Pike and David Oyelowo are in talks to join racially charged African romantic drama A United Kingdom.

The film follows the romance and subsequent marriage that occurred between Oxford-educated African king Seretse Khama and white Englishwoman Ruth Williams. The romance caused a massive scandal in Apartheid-stricken South Africa and the British protectorate of Bechuanaland (later Botswana), prompting Khama to be exiled.

In 1965, Khama became independent Botswana’s first black president as well as the country’s kgosi (king), having been crowned at the age of four in 1925. But his marriage to Williams, who worked as a clerk at Lloyd’s of London, in 1948, was vehemently opposed by the racist South African government, which bullied Britain’s ruling Labour party into exiling the royal couple from Bechuanaland in 1951.

The king’s uncle and sometime regent, Tshekedi Khama, also attempted to have his nephew deposed – but failed.

Rapidly emerging London-born filmmaker Amma Asante has been lined up to direct the project having made a name for herself with the critically-acclaimed 2013 drama Belle, which chronicled the life of a mixed-race daughter of a British Royal Navy officer living in 18th Century England.

She will work from a screenplay by Five Minutes of Heaven’s Guy Hibbert.

Oyelowo, who will also serve as a producer on the drama, commented: “Amma and Rosamund are two of the most exciting talents working in film today. I’ve worked with both of them before and so my excitement about them joining A United Kingdom stems from a knowledge of just how inspiring they are to work with and how much daring and beauty they will bring to this epic love story.”

Next story: Chris Pine in talks to join Wonder Woman movie