Will the Martin Luther King Jr project most likely to be made first, please stand up?
On the heels of Sergio’s post yesterday, announcing that the Oliver Stone/Jamie Foxx MLK project is apparently no more (thanks to concern that Stone’s film would tarnish the saintly public image of the Civil Rights leader), comes news, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, that Oprah Winfrey has come on board to act as a producer on Ava DuVernay’s MLK pic, Selma, which David Oyelowo is attached to star in.
Whether Oliver Stone’s project will be resuscitated remains to be seen. As he shared on Twitter, explaining why it’s been cancelled:
“I’m told the estate & the ‘respectable’ black community that guard King’s reputation won’t approve it. They suffocate the man & the truth […] 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.”
To be titled Orders To Kill, the film was to tell an alternative version of the MLK shooting, with Daniels directing of course, and Jackman starring. It would be based on William Pepper’s book of the same name, which had already been adapted to screenplay format, and was apparently ready to be shot, with Millennium Films producing and finance the film.
Last we checked, over a year ago, the project was being shopped around to distributors in Hollywood. But no word on whether it’s still alive. Likely not.
For years, films about the Civil Rights Leader and icon have stalled, with disapproval of content (specifically depictions of MLK in each script) by influential voices (Andrew Young and the King Estate notably) being a primary hurdle.
It however looks like Selma is on its way to becoming a reality, finally, especially with Oprah joining the push.