Parker Sawyers, a rising actor who is co-starring in Oliver Stone's upcoming film "Snowden," has been cast to play a young Barack Obama in a new film about his romance with Michelle Obama, according to Entertainment Weekly. "Think Like a Man" actress Tika Sumpter has already been cast as Michelle Obama and will also serve as one of the project's executive producers.
The film, entitled "Southside With You," is supposed to recreate the couple's famous 1989 first date, which included a trip to local Chicago ice cream parlor and a screening of Spike Lee's seminal movie "Do the Right Thing."
“I took her to this new movie that everybody was talking about, directed by a guy that not that many people had heard of, but it was supposed to be pretty good,” Obama recalled during the film’s 25th anniversary celebration.
The first lady had previously suggested the either Will Smith or Denzel Washington could effectively portray her husband on screen. She recalled her version of their first date in an interview with "Obama: From Promise to Power” author David Mendell.
“We had lunch, and he had this bad sport jacket and a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and I thought: ‘Oh, here you go. Here’s this good-looking, smooth-talking guy. I’ve been down this road before,’” Michelle Obama said.
At the time Barack Obama was working as a summer associate for the law firm Sidley Austin and then-Michelle Robinson was his office adviser. The couple were married in 1992.
“Southside With You” is reportedly going to take place over the course of one afternoon, in what could be construed as an homage to the indie romance classic “Before Sunrise,” starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Sawyers, an American actor based in the UK, has previously appeared in the critically acclaimed hit "Zero Dark Thirty," and is also about to shoot a role in “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” with Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch, according to Variety.
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Richard Tanne, who also wrote the screenplay, will make his directorial debut with this film, which is being released by IM Global and will be produced by Bob Teitel.
"Richard really captures the essence of that romantic connection between Barack and Michelle that is so evident in the way that they look at each other,” Tracey Bing, one of the film's executive producers told Deadline last December.
Filming is set to begin this August on location in Chicago. Time will tell if the shoot will include footage of the Baskin-Robbins in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood where the Obamas’ first kiss has been commemorated with a plaque.