Chris Rock Directing Martin Luther King Jr. Biopic Produced By Steven Spielberg

Chris Rock, Steven Spielberg

by James White |
Published on

Here's a project with a behind-the-scenes combo we're not sure many would have guessed. Chris Rock is gearing up to make a Martin Luther King Jr biopic – and he has Steven Spielberg on board as an executive producer. Rock's aiming to adapt Jonathan Eig’s critically acclaimed biography King: A Life, to which Universal has snapped up the rights.

Eig's book has been a big bestseller, and is nominated for the National Book Award. It has been hailed as a definitive biography of the civil rights icon Dr. King, for its use of previously untapped sources that include newly declassified FBI information.

The tome sketches out the courageous man who demanded peaceful protests in the segregationist south, all the while grappling with his own frailties and a federal government that haunted his every step instead of treating him like the hero history shows him to be.

It's certainly a departure for Rock in the film directing stakes, as he's mostly been known for the likes of Head Of State, I Think I Love My Wife and Top Five, all comedies. This would mark his first time back in the director's chair since 2014, not counting his and other standup specials.

He also made headlines this year for the first live standup special on Netflix, Selective Outrage, which featured among the topics his first real jokes about the Will Smith Oscars slap incident.

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