Memphis (I)

Status: Development Status Unknown as of 7/3/14
Release Date: TBA
Genre: Drama/Biography
Rating: Not Available
Studio: Scott Rudin Productions/Veritas Films
Director: Paul Greengrass
Cast: Forest Whitaker (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Story: The script depicts Dr. King’s final days as he struggled to organize a protest march on behalf of striking black municipal sanitation workers in Memphis, TN, where he was slain. That storyline is juxtaposed with an intense manhunt for King’s assassin, James Earl Ray, involving some of the federal authorities who, at Hoover’s direction, had dogged King’s every step with wiretaps and whispering campaigns before the civil rights leader’s death.

Details: Universal Pictures backed out of director Paul Greengrass’s would-be project in April 2012, after reportedly getting cold feet about the MLK estate’s issues with the allegations of infidelity in the screenplay. Then Greengrass turned his attention to Captain Phillips, his Somali pirates picture and the project was essentially abandoned. Now it is back on again with producer Scott Rudin in tow, but just not right away.

In May 2013, The Wrap revealed that Oscar winner Forest Whitaker may be adding another prestige project to his plate, as he’s in talks to play Martin Luther King, Jr. in writer-director Paul Greengrass’ drama Memphis.”  However, Greengrass, in an interview reported by Deadline in January 2014, promised that he will make the film, he just wants to do something else beforehand as he takes his time to find the right actor to play the Civil Rights leader. Source(s): Deadline, IMDB.

Check back for further details on Memphis as this story develops.  See also Selma.


Selma teaser poster

Release Date:  January 9, 2015
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating: Unknown
Studio:  Paramount Pictures, Cloud Eight Films, Celador Films,
Harpo Films, Pathe, Plan B Entertainment, Lee Daniels Entertainment
Director:  Ava DuVernay

Cast:  David Oyelowo (Martin Luther King, Jr.), Oprah Winfrey (Annie Lee Cooper), Carmen Ejogo (Coretta Scott King), Lorraine Toussaint (Amelia Boynton), Giovanni Ribisi (Lee C. White), Tim Roth (George Wallace), Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Fred Gray), Common (James Bevel), Tom Wilkinson (President Lyndon B. Johnson), Tessa Thompson (Diane Nash), Dylan Baker (J. Edgar Hoover), Wendell Pierce (Reverend Hosea Williams), Niecy Nash (Richie Jean Jackson), Lakeith Stanfield (Jimmie Lee Jackson).

Story:  The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.  Source(s): AFI Fest.