*Forest Whitaker is in negotiations to play Martin Luther King in director Paul Greengrass’ MLK biopic “Memphis,” according to TheWrap.com.
The film will follow Dr. King’s final days as he struggles to balance his personal life and the civil rights movement, as well as his eventual assassination at the hands of James Earl Ray in April 1968.
Additionally, it’s thought the biopic will focus on the events leading up to his final protest in Memphis, Tennessee and also the aftermath of his death as the FBI mounts a manhunt to find his killer.
“Memphis” is rumored to be filming in a documentary-style format, similar to Greengrass’ 9/11 drama “United 93.” The biopic has long been in the works, originally being set up at Universal, but it will now be made independently with financing from Abu Dhabi-based Veritas Films.
Dr. King’s family previously objected to Greengrass’ proposed film about the civil rights leader because of his warts-and-all approach to telling his life story. The family is developing their own biopic with Dreamworks.
Whitaker, who earned an Oscar for his role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 2006’s “The Last King of Scotland,” is next set to star in historical drama “The Butler.”