When last we reported on the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, writer-director Oliver Stone and star Jamie Foxx were in talks to join the production. Now, it looks as if Stone has departed the picture on the grounds of creative differences between his take on the civil rights leader and that of the project’s producers. Stone’s draft of the script would have dealt with some of the less glowing aspects of the activist’s life, including “issues of adultery, conflicts within the movement, and King’s spiritual transformation into a higher, more radical being.” Stone exited the project after producers told him that King’s estate wouldn’t go for it. Hit the jump for more.
News of Stone’s departure comes courtesy of The Playlist, but the explanation comes via Stone himself:
Sad news. My MLK project involvement has ended. I did an extensive rewrite of the script, but the producers won’t go with it.
The script dealt w/ issues of adultery, conflicts within the movement, and King’s spiritual transformation into a higher, more radical being
I’m told the estate & the ‘respectable’ black community that guard King’s reputation won’t approve it. They suffocate the man & the truth.
I wish you could see the film I would’ve made. I fear if ‘they’ ever make it, it’ll be just another commemoration of the March on Washington
Martin, I grieve for you. You are still a great inspiration for your fellow Americans—but, thank God, not a saint.
Stone isn’t alone in his difficulties with the King estate. Paul Greengrass’ Memphis and Lee Daniels’ Selma each had their own issues over the years. The next step in production rests squarely with co-producing studios DreamWorks and Warner Bros., who look to align a writer-director’s vision with the wishes of the estate.