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Chris Rock to direct Martin Luther King Jr. biopic

Written by on October 6, 2023

Chris Rock has signed on to direct a biopic about late civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

The comedian is in final talks to direct and produce the upcoming project based on Jonathan Eig’s biography King: A Life, according to Variety.

Praised as the definitive biography of the late civil rights icon, King: A Life used FBI information and interviews to portray the activist as a “courageous but emotionally troubled individual who demanded peaceful protest while grappling with his own frailties and a government that hunted him”.

Universal Pictures optioned the book for development into a drama film, with Steven Spielberg set to executive produce.

Universal’s senior VP of production development, Ryan Jones, has signed on to oversee the untitled project for the studio, with Spielberg’s Amblin Partners and the director’s producing partner Kristie Macosko Krieger producing alongside Rock.

As the biographical drama is in early development, no casting decisions have been announced.

Rock previously directed 2003’s Head of State, 2007’s I Think I Love My Wife, and 2014’s Top Five as well as the stand-up comedy specials Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo and Chris Rock Total Blackout: The Tamborine Extended Cut.

King Jr. was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39.

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