Oliver Stone takes to Twitter to announce his departure from the Martin Luther King biopic
Oliver Stone’s next was set to be a biopic focused on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. However, the director knew that he might face some issues with the estate of the late civil rights leader. The film would dig deep into the not-so-pretty picture of King’s life, and according to the latest tweets from Stone that’s the reason he will no longer be pursing the film:
Sad news. My MLK project involvement has ended. I did an extensive rewrite of the script, but the producers won’t go with it.— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
The script dealt w/ issues of adultery, conflicts within the movement, and King’s spiritual transformation into a higher, more radical being— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
I’m told the estate & the ‘respectable’ black community that guard King’s reputation won't approve it. They suffocate the man & the truth.— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
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— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
Martin, I grieve for you. You are still a great inspiration for your fellow Americans—but, thank God, not a saint.— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
It would be interesting to see exactly what Stone had planned within the script that was a turn-off to the King estate. Stone is known for his controversial takes on his subjects, and MLK won’t be one of those. The project housed over at Dreamworks still has Jamie Foxx attached as far as we know, so the studio will likely be on the hunt for a new director to work with the King family.
I haven’t heard about the other MLK biopic in the works that once belonged to Lee Daniels. It was handed over to Ava DuVernay with David Oyelowo being eyed as the lead but that production ran into the same issues with the King estate along with Paul Greengrass’ MEMPHIS.
I wonder if those close to King will find a script with a vision that matches their own.