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Why no MLK biopic?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Steak Snabler, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Thought of this while watching "Mississippi Burning" and "Ghosts of Mississippi" back-to-back on MLK Day ...

    Why has there never been a major Hollywood treatment of Martin Luther King? I know there was a TV miniseries several years ago (with Paul Winfield as MLK), but you'd think someone would get around to doing a blockbuster biopic.

    We've had films on just about every other aspect/figure from the Civil Rights Movement, but never one on arguably the most influential American of the 20th Century. Seems strange to me.

    Anybody got ideas/guesses as to why this hasn't happened?
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Because you'd have to show the bad with the good and that's not the kind of image his supporters want to see or will back. They'll say the philandering will portray him in a bad light and raise a fuss.
  3. I think there's a lot of truth to that.

    MLK is revered to the point of being a Christ figure in a lot of homes.

    Any film that portrayed him as a human with human flaws would be inherently controversial, and it would take a brave studio to go forward with it.

    EDIT: I would also add that an authentic movie might shatter the myth in white America that MLK was a meek "moderate" who just wanted everybody to get along (unlike like the loud modern civil rights leaders that we have today.) In truth, MLK was increasingly left-wing and radicalized in the years before his death.
  4. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Found this Anne Hornaday WaPo column while surfing after my original post. Interesting stuff ...

  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I remeber awhile back Spike Lee (surprise) was interested, but the project got shelved when Denzel wasn't interested...

    I'm guessing nobody wants any part of making the film that would have to have a lot of info on his philandering and his combative relationship with the FBI...
  6. "His combative relationship with the FBI"?
    That's the best euphemism of the week.
  7. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    In school yesterday, my 8-year-old daughter watched an MLK-related film in which two children, one black and one white, were able to go back in time to witness MLK in action. Learning he would be shot, the kids brought him back, as a child, to modern-day America so he could live. And by doing that, it turned out that with no MLK, the black kid ended up drinking from the colored water fountain today, and the white kid and the black kid were no longer friends. It sounded very Twilight Zone-ish.
  8. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    There was actually a very cool play, and I think it was also a movie, about a fictional meeting between MLK and Malcolm X.
  9. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I'd be willing to play the part. But Spike Lee would probably give me the boot, citing "artistic differences."

    Racist bastard. ...
  10. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Terence Howard for the role of Marty?
  11. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    The Philanderer versus the Perv.

    Film at 11.
  12. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    Because we need pictures about Eminem and loosely-based bios like Carey's "Glitter."
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