Forest Whitaker May Play Martin Luther King Jr. In Memphis


Forest Whitaker has already played one historical leader and won an Oscar for it and now he may do it again. Paul Greengrass is casting for his upcoming film Memphis and he has his eye on the Academy Award-winning actor for the role of Martin Luther King Jr. The Scott Rudin-produced film was originally a Universal property but was dropped (due to scheduling and financing) a while back. It’s been in development for some time now and has only recently started to pick up some steam.

Details on how the film will play out aren’t fully known just yet but we have heard that it won’t paint King in the mostly flattering way, which is why his estate is against it. From what we know, the film will show King towards the end of his life “as he struggles with his personal life, including the breakdown of his marriage, and faces fears about the future of America and his own career.” The title comes from the location of King’s final protest, where he was assassinated.

No start date has been announced for Memphis but it will likely be Greengrass’ next film. It will also apparently use the same “docu-style” that we saw him use in United 93.

All in all, this sounds like an interesting project. Greengrass is no doubt a talented filmmaker and Whitaker is, at times, a great actor. He’s done some garbage here and there (Fragments, The Experiment, Repo Men, Powder Blue) but he’s still an Academy Award winner and has proven himself before while playing a historical leader (in The Last King of Scotland). Under Greengrass’ direction, there’s no reason that Whitaker can’t deliver another award-worthy performance.

What do you think? Are you excited about the possibility of Forest Whitaker joining Memphis? Let us know in the comments below.