On Eve Of MLK Day, Will Adultery Keep Epic Dr. King Movie Off The Big Screen?

Mike Fleming

mlkOliver Stone has run smack into the same wall on a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr biopic that director Paul Greengrass hit when Universal kicked his MLK project Memphis to the curb two years back. Stone took to his Twitter account today to say that DreamWorks and Warner Bros rejected his script rewrite and that he was done with the movie that also had Jamie Foxx attached. It came down to the studios — which are in lockstep with the MLK estate that brought them the right to use his famous copyrighted speeches — rejecting Stone’s characterization of long-running rumors that King Jr. engaged in extramarital affairs. “I’m told the estate & the ‘respectable’ black community that guard King’s reputation won’t approve it. They suffocate the man & the truth,” Stone tweeted. He also added a message directly to MLK: ‘I wish you could see the film I would’ve made. I fear if ‘they’ ever make it, it’ll be just another commemoration of the March on Washington.”

Related: Opposition To Martin Luther King Films Reveals Hard Truths About Biopic Biz

ostoneThis is almost a carbon copy of what happened two years ago with Memphis, the superb script that Captain Phillips helmer Greengrass wrote and set at Universal with producer Scott Rudin. The project stopped in its tracks after a version of the script found its way to the King family, and Ambassador Andrew Young, who was one of Dr. King’s closest confidants during the turbulent Civil Rights movement of the ’60s. While Universal was never really clear on why it halted the movie, blaming scheduling, it is clear that a film disowned by MLK’s family might hurt its audience appeal. This is an incredibly difficult and emotional situation because it depicts flaws in a man whose message of tolerance and equality and nonviolence still means so much to so many and has made him one of the most galvanizing figures of the 20th Century. Read More »

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Opposition To Martin Luther King Films Reveals Hard Truths About Biopic Biz

Mike Fleming

Few Hollywood films are as difficult to mount as the biopics of historical figures. From The Hurricane to Malcolm X, A Beautiful Mind to Munich, The Social Network to even the most recent Best Picture Oscar winner The King’s Speech, there … Read More »

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Bounce TV Unveiled, Will Target African-American Audiences

By | Monday April 4, 2011 @ 11:48am PDT

Bounce TV, which bills itself as the nation’s first over-the-air broadcast TV network designed exclusively for African-American audiences, announced today that it will launch in the fall via carriage on the digital signals of local stations. The 24/7 digital network plans to target the 25-54 demographic with a “mix of … Read More »

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Universal Drops Paul Greengrass’ ‘Memphis’; Did MLK Estate Pressure Influence Decision?

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures has dropped plans to finance and distribute Memphis, the Paul Greengrass-directed film about the final days and assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. The studio has halted progress on a film scripted by Greengrass and produced by … Read More »

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Aaron Sorkin Options Aide’s Tell-All Book About John Edwards And Will Direct Biopic

By and | Thursday July 15, 2010 @ 6:33pm PDT

edwards bookWest Wing creator and An American President scribe Aaron Sorkin will make his feature directorial debut on a drama that chronicles the scandalous implosion of Senator John Edwards’ 2008 run to be the Democratic presidential candidate. It ended shockingly when … Read More »

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