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Chris Rock Will Direct MLK Jr. Biopic With Producer Steven Spielberg

Chris Rock Will Direct MLK Jr. Biopic With Producer Steven Spielberg

Chris Rock is teaming up with Steven Spielberg to create a biopic about the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

Based on author Jonathan Eig’s critically acclaimed biography King: A Life, Rock is in final talks to direct and produce, and Spielberg will be the film’s executive producer.

Eig’s biography has been hailed as a definitive biography on the life of King, mostly because Eig was able to use previously untapped sources that provided newly declassified FBI information. Critics have praised Eig’s storytelling for capturing the nuances of a courageous civil rights icon who led peaceful protests in the South, while also wrestling with his identity, insecurities and doubts.

This is not the first time Rock has stepped into the director’s chair, but it is a big step for his career. Previously, he’s directed comedies, including Top Five, Head of State and I Think I Love My Wife. But this is not the first civil rights film Rock has been involved in their year.

Last month, Rock’s latest movie Rustin premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. Rock plays civil rights activist Roy Wilkins, who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington D.C. where King gave his “I Have A Dream” speech.

As for Spielberg’s involvement, it appears the award-winning filmmaker has waited a long time to produce an MLK film. Back in 2009, Spielberg’s DreamWorks company paid the King estate for film rights to the civil rights leader’s words and life rights, which would allow a person or company to make content based on an individual’s story.

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