Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker is being touted as the front-runner to play Martin Luther King in a new “docu-drama” movie from writer/director Paul Greengrass. MEMPHIS, which will tell the story of the civil rights leaders last days, has been a much delayed project that was dropped by Universal in 2011 due to ‘scheduling and financial reasons’. With new backers (Abu Dhabi-based Veritas Films and French financier Wild Bunch have stepped in) it looks like the man at the helm of 2006’s acclaimed UNITED 93 may have his next project moving into production.
Whitaker is no stranger to biopics having won an Oscar for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND and his credentials should give the project the boost it needs. Not content with staying in front of the camera, Whitaker has also been trying his hand at producing and was involved in one of the hits of this year’s festival circuit: FRUITVALE STATION. Audiences would have just caught Whitaker in action thrillers THE LAST STAND and PAWN and rounding off his year he has several further releases including the highly anticipated THE BUTLER. Check out the trailer for that all-star extravaganza here.
MEMPHIS, believed to be a no-holds-barred look at King and his work, is not being backed by the King family. They maintain the innocence of the man who spent almost 30 years in prison for King’s murder before dying whilst incarcerated. Developing their own project with Dreamworks they will counter the claims that he was involved in several affairs and was worried about his legacy standing the test of time.
Source: The Wrap