Chris Rock will return to the director’s chair to take on a biopic of the legendary US civil rights activist Martin Luther King.
It has been announced that Chris Rock will be tackling the life of Dr Martin Luther King in an upcoming biopic. Steven Spielberg is on board as executive producer and the project will be part of the latter’s Amblin Partners label for Universal Pictures.
According to Deadline, the film will be based on Jonathan Eig’s biography King: A Life. The book was only released this year but picked up great acclaim for including ‘newly unearthed FBI information on King’ that portrayed him as ‘a courageous but emotionally troubled individual who demanded peaceful protest while grappling with his own frailties and a government that hunted him.”
Of course, Ava DuVernay's 2014 stirring biopic Selma delved into this area to some degree, presenting a version of King that was less than perfect and a subject of intense government surveillance. How much further Rock’s take goes will be interesting to see.
One aspect of King’s legend that DuVernay’s film couldn’t include were his words, given that the production couldn’t secure the rights to King’s speeches such as his iconic ‘I have a dream” address. We certainly remember hearing that at some point, Spielberg had acquired those rights so it’s possible that Rock’s version will also be able to depict King’s stirring rhetoric word-for-word, which would be something of a coup for the film.
While he is known more for his acting, Rock has directed before, including the comedies, Head Of State and I Think I Love My Wife. The step into prestige drama marks a new phase of his career, and one of his jobs will be a crucial one: casting the role of Martin Luther King. We’ll bring you news on casting for this project as we hear more.
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