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Paul Greengrass Off To Memphis?
Planning a Martin Luther King film

13 January 2011  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Vulture

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After taking on the Iraq War with Green Zone, Paul Greengrass might be headed back into the sort of story he tackled so well in Bloody Sunday. Vulture reports that he’s planning to make a film currently titled Memphis, about the events leading up to the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King in 1968.

Have some grains of salt handy, because none of this appears to be official yet, but the script that Greengrass has written, based on his own research, apparently follows King’s trip to the city to help organize a strike of the local sanitation workers. It was a turbulent time in both his personal and professional worlds as his marriage was falling apart, he was smoking more, drinking more, and putting on weight. Plus, his outspoken opinions had distanced him from some powerful supports, including President Johnson.

And then came April 4, and King is assassinated in the middle of a speech. The subject matter and circumstances around King’s death certainly sound like fertile ground for Greengrass to dig into, though the casting of King will of course be crucial. Vulture mentions that Scott Rudin is talking about producing the film at Focus Features, though no formal negotiations have kicked off just yet.

For now, then, we’ll consider this one a “possible,” but we’re always itching to see what Greengrass will do next.


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