*Suddenly, 44 years after his assassination, there’s a lot of interest in Martin Luther King Jr. by filmmakers.
At one point last year “Memphis” was one of 5 MLK productions in the pipeline … all at varying stages of development.
The bottom line is that only ONE of the five projects has the backing of the King estate. That would be the undertaking from the Oprah Winfrey/HBO/Steven Spielberg/DreamWorks coalition
Hold on. Not so fast. Now it appears that “Memphis” is back on track after being in limbo for the past year or so, according to Shadow and Act.
Last we wrote about the Paul Greengrass-directed MLK assassination pic, “Memphis,” which was once a sure-thing, the studio backing it, Universal Pictures, had backed out of financing and distributing the film.
Why? Word on the street was that there was pressure from the MLK estate (and Andrew Young’s objections) to call off the project, because they were unhappy with the script.
The film, which was supposed to focus on the events leading up to King’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, while he was trying to organize the city’s sanitation workers in spring of 1968; but it would have also highlighted his infidelity, which there was strong opposition to. It will also focus on the manhunt for James Earl Ray.
Tonight, Deadline is reporting that the project looks to be alive again, with French distribution company Wild Bunch getting behind the project, and super producer Scott Rudin producing, after almost a year in hiatus, and it just might be up next for Greengrass.
Meanwhile, entertainment industry blog Deadline also says that they’ve read the script, and called “Oscar caliber stuff.”