The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive story about Dreamworks’ Martin Luther King biopic project.
“The Score” screenwriter Kario Salem has been tapped to write the screenplay; it is stated in the article that he has done three and a half year’s worth of research on the script. Coupled with that amount of work, the film has been in development for years, ever since Dreamworks acquired the life rights to King in 2009. Salem’s other projects include upcoming films “Scarpetta” and “Mavericks”, the latter of which is being directed by Curtis Hanson this summer. Disney’s Touchstone Studios and Warner Brothers are also coming on board to help produce. King’s children–Dexter King, Bernice King, and Martin Luther King II will executive produce.
This is not the only Martin Luther King, Jr./Civil Rights project in the works; Universal was behind Paul Greengrass’ “Memphis”, which would take a look at King’s final days, and Lee Daniels’ film about the Selma marches, which had David Oyelowo attached to play King. But Dreamworks’ film is the only one to pick up steam and start gelling; Daniels’ film is looking for financial support as well as Greengrass’ film, which Universal has since backed out of. The main reason for the difficulty in some of these projects coming together is the King Estate, who is very disapproving of projects that could project King in a negative (or at least, less than flattering) light.
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