How many Martin Luther King projects does Hollywood need all at once? And Oprah Winfrey, she’s got two on the move at the same time. Last week it was revealed that she is throwing her producer weight behind Ava DuVernay‘s “Selma” over at Paramount, and now at HBO, she’s got another biopic brewing on the civil rights leader.
Winfrey has good taste, rounding up “The Wire” and “Treme” scribe David Simon to write the first installment of a six-hour series about Martin Luther King, with Simon to pen the book for the show as well too (with “Treme” co-creator Eric Overmyer pitching in). And before you wonder about conflict of interest, let us just remind you that “Selma” is focused on the Selma to Montgomery march of 1965, while the mini is going to tackle King’s entire life. The HBO effort will be using Taylor Branch‘s acclaimed book trilogy “America: In The King Years” as the source material, giving Simon over 1000 pages of history to drawn upon. And all the major events and relationships you’d expect to be tackled are expected to included.
That said, the hurdle to any MLK project is the estate, which has been fussy about how the late leader is depicted (anything short of perfection seems to cause issues). And given how much Simon strives for complexity and realism, we wonder if that will cause a problem. But the potential is hugely exciting, and we’re eager to see who might get behind the camera. Suggestions? Let us know below.