Famous Comedian Set to Direct Biopic on Martin Luther King Jr.

American Baptist minister and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) holds a press conference at the Savoy Hotel in London, UK, September 1964
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Actor and comedian Chris Rock is gearing up for a very exciting new project. He is set to direct a biopic on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Universal is working on the film and optioned the rights to the biography called “King: A Life” by Jonathan Eig. The book dives deep into the mind of King Jr. and shares newly released FBI information on him.

The publisher describes the story as an “intimate portrayal of King as a courageous but emotionally troubled individual who demanded peaceful protest while grappling with his own frailties and a government that hunted him.” No word yet on who may portray King Jr. in the highly-anticipated film. Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger are set to produce the film.

American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968) at a press conference in London, September 1964.

Reg Lancaster/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Although most people know Rock for his acting, stand-up, and the slap heard around the world, this isn’t the first time he will direct a movie. He previously directed and starred in Top Five as well as directed Head of State and I Think I Love My Wife.

HEAD OF STATE, Chris Rock, 2003

DreamWorks/Everett Collection

In addition to working on this new biopic, he has another fun project in the works. His popular show Everybody Hates Chris, loosely based on his life, is being turned into an animated comedy called Everybody Still Hates Chris. It will air on Comedy Central and Paramount+.

DOWN TO EARTH, Chris Rock, 2001

Paramount/Everett Collection

“Chris Rock is one of the most gifted comedians of all time and we’re excited to partner with him, 3 Arts and CBS Studios to bring this to life and welcome it as the next big hit in our expanding arsenal of iconic adult animation that includes smash series such as South Park and the new Beavis and Butt-Head,” said Chris McCarthy, President/CEO, Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios.

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March 2021

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