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Universal will help Paul Greengrass revisit the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination in Memphis

02.23.2011

So we've spoken before about Paul Greengrass' project MEMPHIS. This would be a film about the events leading up to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Now it looks like Universal has decided to house the drama which will be written and directed by Greengrass. The film is being produced by Scott Rudin, who is the Oscar-nominated producer of THE SOCIAL NETWORK and TRUE GRIT.

Greengrass based the screenplay around his own research on King's life following up to the assassination. Here are the details that were given in the original article when the news first broke on the project:

"By the spring of 1968, King’s personal and professional lives were in disarray: His marriage was faltering; he was chain-smoking, boozing, and packing on the pounds. King’s outspokenness on the Vietnam War cost him his relationship with President Johnson, and his newfound interest in labor organization and the urban poor put him on the fringes of the rising Black Power movement."

Deadline mentions that MEMPHIS steps in front of other King films that are in development, "There is a Ronald Harwood-scripted DreamWorks project that has the backing of King's heirs, and Selma, an indie that Lee Daniels was working on with funding from The Weinstein Company (that project seems to have stalled completely), and Harpo's Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte have an HBO deal for America: In the King Years, a 7-hour miniseries based on the seminal Taylor Branch book series, being adapted by Robert Schenkkan."

Production on MEMPHIS begins this June.

Extra Tidbit: While writing this article, this song played over and over in my head.
Source: Deadline

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