Jamie Foxx is reportedly in talks to play Martin Luther King Jr. in a biopic that Oliver Stone is in negotiations to direct for DreamWorks and Warner Bros. Oscar winners Foxx and Stone previously worked together on 1999′s American Football drama ‘Any Given Sunday,’ which helped put Foxx on the map as a major movie star.
DreamWorks acquired the rights to Martin Luther King Jr.’s story in 2009 along with the rights to his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. What distinguishes the DreamWorks/WB project is that it boasts the support of Martin Luther King Jr.’s family, unlike a competing film titled ‘Memphis’ that Paul Greengrass has spent years developing with producer Scott Rudin. The King family refused to cooperate with that project given its warts-and-all depiction of the civil rights leader. Meanwhile, Lee Daniels spent years trying to bring ‘Selma’ to the big screen, though that project will now be directed by Ava DuVernay and star David Oyelowo as King.
Oliver Stone has long been drawn to politically-themed biopics, having directed ‘JFK,’ ‘Nixon’ and ‘W.’ He most recently directed ‘Savages’ and just signed on to produce a biopic of Algerian leader Emir Abd el-Kader. Jamie Foxx recently starred in Quentin Taratino’s ‘Django Unchained’ and Roland Emmerich’s ‘White House Down.’ He’s currently filming Sony’s ‘Annie’ reboot and will soon be seen as the villainous Electro in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2.’
Steven Spielberg will produce for this MLK movie for DreamWorks along with Suzanne de Passe, Madison Jones and Sam Nappi, while several members of the King family are expected to serve as executive producers on the project. Kario Salem wrote the script, while Ronald Harwood penned an earlier draft.