Paul Greengrass is Heading to ‘Memphis’
Although he's best known for directing 'The Bourne Supremacy' and 'The Bourne Ultimatum,' Paul Greengrass' best films are undoubtedly 'Bloody Sunday' and 'United 93,' both of which take touchy and potentially controversial subject matter and craft humane, heartbreaking stories out of them. His talent for finding humanity in history makes his long-gestating 'Memphis' an exciting prospect -- it's hard to imagine another filmmaker more suited to exploring the final weeks of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. After all kinds of delays, Deadline is reporting that 'Memphis' is just about ready to go and will be the filmmaker's next project.
The project was originally intended to come out earlier this year to coincide with Martin Luther King Day, but Universal dropped out of the production and the film was put on hold. But now, Greengrass and producer Scott Rudin have secured financing elsewhere and are ready to move forward. In the interim, Greengrass and Rudin made 'Captain Phillips,' a Somali pirate hostage drama starring Tom Hanks, but that's a story for another day.
Much like the currently-in-theaters 'Lincoln,' 'Memphis' won't be a straightforward biopic of King, but rather a portrait of the last few weeks of his life, intercut with scenes depicting the the manhunt for his killer. The original script proved controversial, with King's estate making their unhappiness with the project clearly and loudly known. Although the film is ultimately a tribute to King, it treats him as a human being and doesn't ignore his darker sides, namely his frequent infidelity. Greengrass' more realistic and down-to-earth take on the man also stands in direct opposition to the biopic project being spearheaded by King's estate over at DreamWorks. Their conflict is not only personal, it's business.
What do you think? Are you ready to see a Martin Luther King Jr. movie directed by Paul Greengrass?