Lee DanielsOn Christmas Eve of 2009, director Lee Daniels will turn 50 years old. With 'Precious' perhaps the most widely praised, Oprah-backed, Oscar-hyped film playing in theaters as the march toward awards season gathers steam, the fast-rising trajectory of Daniels' career seems like the perfect birthday present -- and stocking stuffer -- rolled into one.

It's also the perfect opportunity to line up new gigs, which is just what Daniels is doing. Per Variety, Daniels is in advanced negotiations to sit in the director's chair for 'Selma,' a feature dramatizing the three 1965 marches in Alabama that quickly became a worldwide symbol for the American Civil Rights movement. Lee DanielsOn Christmas Eve of 2009, director Lee Daniels will turn 50 years old. With 'Precious' perhaps the most widely praised, Oprah-backed, Oscar-hyped film playing in theaters as the march toward awards season gathers steam, the fast-rising trajectory of Daniels' career seems like the perfect birthday present -- and stocking stuffer -- rolled into one.

It's also the perfect opportunity to line up new gigs, which is just what Daniels is doing. Per Variety, Daniels is in advanced negotiations to sit in the director's chair for 'Selma,' a feature dramatizing the three 1965 marches in Alabama that quickly became a worldwide symbol for the American Civil Rights movement.

Casting remains under wraps for now, but Christian Colson, whose 'Slumdog Millionaire' captured eight Oscars earlier this year, is producing; the buzz-worthy screenplay is the handiwork of Paul Webb.

And if 'Precious' does go on to score Oscar gold -- be it a single bar of bullion or something more Fort Knox-style -- Daniels can naturally expect his Hollywood stock to rise even more. One project that might quickly move ahead is the big-screen version of the musical 'Miss Saigon.' Last month, Variety had Daniels' name attached to the film, which Paula Wagner would co-produce with legendary Broadway and West End showman Cameron Mackintosh for an expected 2011 release.

CATEGORIES Movies