Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Steven Spielberg to make biopic on Martin Luther King, Jr.


This has been brought up several times in the past couple of days by astute posters.

Steven Spielbeg has aquired the rights to make a biopic of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

But, of course, there are problems.


From the Los Angeles Business Journal:
Posted date: 5/20/2009
King Family Fighting Over Spielberg Film Deal
Los Angeles Business Journal Staff

Two of Martin Luther King Jr.’s children are threatening to throw a wrench into Steven Spielberg’s plans to bring the late civil rights leader’s life to the big screen.

Bernice King and Martin Luther King III told the Associated Press that they had no input in the film deal brokered by their brother, Dexter King, who is chief executive officer of King Inc. The siblings have been involved in several legal disputes with their brother for more than a year over his handling of the intellectual property of their parents’ estate.

King, who was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn., was careful to copyright his speeches, books and famous works.

Bernice and Martin have not yet filed suit to block the project. "This is a deal that Mr. Spielberg and his people ... have entered into believing that they have the blessing of the King Estate. They don't have the blessings of Bernice and Martin King," Bernice King told the Associated Press.

DreamWorks SKG on Monday announced it had acquired the rights to King’s life and planned a theatrical release that would be produced by Spielberg, Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones. The production company would not say how much the deal is worth.

Roland Martin has just posted at his blog:
Bernice, Martin Luther King III on CNN @ 8pm EST tonight

Bernice King and her brother, Martin Luther King III, will join me tonight on CNN at 8 p.m. EST to discuss the latest feud between them and their brother, Dexter.

Dexter, who is the executor of the estate of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has signed a movie deal with Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks to bring a picture of their father to the big screen. But Bernice and MLK III say as shareholders in the company that controls the rights to their father, they were never informed and found out through the media.

They truly have issues with Dexter. It's a shame that they have to do this in public.

Questions for our readers:
1. Should a Black director do this movie?
2. Got any casting choices, not only for MLK, but Coretta, et al?

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