Last year, it was reported that director Oliver Stone and Jamie Foxx would be teaming up for a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic at DreamWorks. Unfortunately, when Stone handed in his latest rewrites of the script, the producers rejected it after complaints from the King estate over the subject matter.
Apparently Stone had touched upon King’s alleged adulterous lifestyle and conflicts between others within his movement, all of which concerned the estate. Now instead of compromising his vision of the film, Stone has chosen to drop out of the project. The director took to Twitter today to explain the situation:
Sad news. My MLK project involvement has ended. I did an extensive rewrite of the script, but the producers won’t go with it.— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
The script dealt w/ issues of adultery, conflicts within the movement, and King’s spiritual transformation into a higher, more radical being— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
I’m told the estate & the ‘respectable’ black community that guard King’s reputation won't approve it. They suffocate the man & the truth.— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
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— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
Martin, I grieve for you. You are still a great inspiration for your fellow Americans—but, thank God, not a saint.— Oliver Stone (@TheOliverStone) January 17, 2014
The timing of this fallout couldn’t be worse with Martin Luther King Jr. Day taking place on Monday. There is no word yet on if Foxx would still be interested in the project with Stone gone, but it’s more than obvious that a high-profile movie based on King’s life is way overdue. Let’s hope someone can get this off the ground again.