Theron Targeted To Play Race Warrior Hunter Johnson
CHARLIZE THERON is the frontrunner to play real-life investigative reporter CLAUDIA HUNTER JOHNSON in a harrowing new movie about America's modern race issues. Pulitzer Prize-nominated Hunter Johnson spent years investigating the trial and incarceration of Floridian RUBY MCCULLUM with money she won from movie veteran PAUL NEWMAN as part of a freedom of speech award. And now her tale of mistrials, racism and injustice is to be made into a hard-hitting new movie and producer RON SAMUELS wants Theron to play the feisty journalist. Samuels hopes the film will be one of the first under his new Invitation Entertainment banner. He says, "Claudia set out to prove that Ruby MCCullum, a well-to-do African-American, was unfairly sentenced for the murder of a white doctor half a century ago. "This woman was sent to the electric chair but that didn't happen. She had an abortion in jail and almost died and lived out her life in a mental institute, where she died in the 1990s. "What compelled me about this film is Claudia discovered racism is still rampant in parts of Florida. People actually burned MCCullum's house to the ground in a bid to warn other African-Americans from talking about the crime she supposedly committed. "It took a 93-year-old woman to blow the lid off this case when she told Claudia, 'I'm 93. What can they do to me now?' It's just a race story that has to be told and I plan to leave it up to the American public to decide whether Ruby MCCullum was guilty."