This coming Monday marks what would have been the 83rd anniversary of the birth of civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now today, it was announced that Director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) is working on a script set in the middle of King’s visit to Memphis in support of the strike of the black sanitation workers in 1968, just before his assassination. Specifics have yet to be discussed but producer Scott Rudin (True Grit) is said to be interested in producing the film (simply titled Memphis) with Greengrass and Focus Features. From the very vague details that have leaked, it seems the film will focus on who King was both, in front and away from the public eye: his marriage, chain-smoking, boozing as well as his outspokenness on the Vietnam War, his fall out with President Johnson, and his eventual relationship with the Black Power movement.
Memphis is now one of three MLK-related films currently in the works: the other two are the biopic from Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg, and Selma by Precious director Lee Daniels.
It will be interesting to see if Greengrass will keep the film away from any controversy and various conspiracy theories about King’s murder involving James Earl Ray, the CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, the Green Berets and more.