Paul Greengrass plans 'Memphis' film on Martin Luther King assassination

New York magazine's Vulture blog reports in an exclusive that director Paul Greengrass plans to make his next film about the events leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968 in Memphis.

Greengrass, known for thrillers such as "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "United 93," wrote the movie based on his own research, Vulture reports. Citing "insiders," the blog said the screenplay focuses on King's attempts to organize the city's sanitation workers before he was murdered on April 4 at the Lorraine Motel.

If so, that'd make for a much more human portrayal of King than some might expect. 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.
Vulture adds that no formal negotiations have begun between Greengrass and Focus Features about greenlighting the project, now known simply as "Memphis."

UPDATE: John Beifuss is also on the case, and he provides context about the many other MLK projects floating around in the Hollywood ether.


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