Universal to Make Paul Greengrass’ MLK Assassination Drama MEMPHIS

     February 23, 2011

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Last month, we reported that Paul Greengrass (United 93) had written Memphis, a script that’s centered on the days in Memphis, TN leading up to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  It was rumored that producer Scott Rudin (The Social Network) was interested in getting the film to Focus Features, Universal’s art house division.  However, Deadline makes no mention of Focus Features, which is surprising since this could easily be awards fare and Universal rarely does solo work on serious dramas (although they’ve co-produced plenty of high-brow flicks).

More surprising is that Greengrass is getting back together with Universal.  Greengrass was reportedly unhappy with the way they were handling the future of the Bourne franchise and the studio was less than pleased that Green Zone cost a pretty penny and didn’t deliver at the box office.  But Greengrass has delivered hits for Universal in the past and he’s one of the best directors working today.  It’s not crazy to gamble on him, especially when he’s previously done beautiful work when it comes to films based on historical tragedies.  Filming is set to begin in June.

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