Two MLK Biopics Merge Into One

“The Score” scribe Kario Salem is in negotiations to pen a biopic of Martin Luther King Jr. at DreamWorks Pictures says The Hollywood Reporter.

DreamWorks acquired the life rights of the civil rights leader in May 2009 including access to King’s intellectual property and the cooperation of the King estate.

At the same time, Warners had been working on its biopic for several years and had been in deep development on a script with Salem, who had done almost four years worth of research and interviews when writing his screenplay.

Now the projects are coming together with Warners to co-finance and co-distribute the film with Disney’s Touchstone label (where Dreamworks is now established). Salem will now write a new script with the estate’s backing, while Sam Nappi, Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones will produce.

Rival projects Lee Daniels’s “Selma” with David Oyelowo attached to play King and Paul Greengrass’ “Memphis” have both been struggling to come together, neither helped by not having the approval of the MLK estate.