It seems like there’s been a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic gestating somewhere in Hollywood ever since there was a Martin Luther King Jr. Sure an MLK might pop up in The Butler or Ali (the latter MLK played by LeVar Burton!) now and again, but you’d think that one of the most famous Americans of the 20th century would be generating biopics left and right.
Most recently, the Paul Greengrass-scripted Memphis seemed like the frontrunner on that race to the mountaintop, but a dark horse has suddenly vaulted into the lead. It’s a horse made up of Oliver Stone and Jamie Foxx (and one reported on by The Wrap), and unlike Memphis, these two are predicted to have the support of the King family – somewhat of a necessity in making a King film. Stone is no stranger to the politically-charged biopic, and Foxx is more than capable of pulling off a dynamite performance when paired with the right director (see also: Ray, Collateral, Django Unchained). Both men have had their share of clunkers in recent years, but if Stone’s the right director for Foxx, then Martin Luther King Jr. will finally have a biopic worthy of all the good he did for this country.
Unless Lee Daniels and David Oyelowo in Selma end up crossing the finish line first.