Last year we reported on the fact that Dreamworks had acquired the rights to make a  Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, which is set to be produced by Steven Spielberg, Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones and is said to be a dream project for the trio. The last we heard about the MLK biopic, there was some trouble behind-the-scenes with regards to King’s children, Dexter, Bernice and Martin Luther King III, who were fighting over rights.

However, today we get news by way of Variety (thanks to The Playlist) that a screenwriter in the form of Ronald Harwood has been brought on board to pen the script for the film. This probably means that the trouble with King’s children has been worked out as Dreamworks, Spielberg and Co. have full access to the influential figure’s intellectual property, including his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. This is the first time anyone has had permission to make a big-screen movie about King’s life.

Harwood is no stranger to dealing with themes of race and moral choice issues, particularly in regard to the Apartheid in South Africa, the country Harwood hails from. He wrote the script to the film Mandela (which was written when the leader was in prison), an adaptation of Cry the Beloved Country, and two books and plays related to the subject. Harwood also won an Oscar for writing the absolutely fantastic film, The Pianist and also wrote the sublime The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. He definitely seems like a suited choice to pen the MLK biopic.

In speaking about the project, Harwood was very vague – “I will not say anything about my approach to this screenplay except to say what I always say: ‘I will do my utmost to be true to truth.’?” Well that’s certainly good to hear but I’d be interested in knowing a bit more about the direction he’s thinking of taking. I’m sure we’ll hear word on that in due time.

Is Harwood a good choice to write the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic? Who would you like to see portray the legendary civil rights figure?

No word yet on when we might see the film in theaters. Stay tuned.

Source: Variety (thanks to The Playlist)