As we spend this holiday Monday honoring the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it occurs to me that there hasn’t yet been a big Hollywood biopic about the man. Why is that? And, if one were produced, who should star?
According to this Entertainment Weekly article from 2009, Steven Spielberg last acquired the film rights to the story. Prior to that, the biggest stumbling block to producing a movie was that King copyrighted all of his speeches, and you can’t make a very good movie about the man’s life without those. Even though Spielberg may have finally straightened all that out, it doesn’t appear that he’s made much progress in the meantime. IMDb currently lists the ‘Untitled Martin Luther King Jr. Project‘ as being “In Development,” which could mean anything from “Imminently about to start filming” to “They’re thinking about it, but it’ll probably never happen.”
Assuming that such a movie does eventually get made, who should be cast? I see that, back in 2001, Jeffrey Wright played King in a TV movie called ‘Boycott’ about the early days of the Civil Rights movement. Although he’s a little older now than King was when he died (which would make it difficult for him to play the man in his younger days), I still think he’d probably be the best fit. Terrence Howard also seems like a viable option.
Please, let’s just keep Cuba Gooding, Jr. away from this project. Can we all agree on that?