Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr. bio-pic planned for the bigscreen

DreamWorks has acquired the rights to the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and plans to bring the civil rights leader's life to the bigscreen, Variety reported.

Steven Spielberg, Suzanne de Passe (former manager to Diana Ross and Jennifer Holliday as well as producer of “Lonesome Dove” and “The Jacksons: An American Dream”) and Madison Jones (the animated program “Our Friend, Martin) will produce.

A King film has been a longtime dream for Spielberg and DreamWorks CEO and co-chairman Stacey Snider, who has been working feverishly on acquiring the rights since exiting Paramount Pictures and setting up a solo enterprise.

King, who was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis at the age of 39, copyrighted his speeches, books and famous works during his lifetime. The DreamWorks project marks the first film to be authorized by King's estate and gives the producers the right to utilize King's intellectual property -- including his famous "I Have a Dream" speech delivered during the 1963 March on Washington -- to create the definitive portrait of his life.

King's son Dexter, who is chairman and CEO of the King Estate, has been embroiled in a legal tussle with his siblings Bernice King and Martin Luther King III over who controls the personal papers of their late mother, Coretta Scott King, among other things.

Casting has not been announced... but, I gotta say - I can't wait to hear who they get.

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