Dreamworks has plans to make a biopic about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. According to Associated Press, Steven Spielberg will co-produce the film, which the studio has said will be a monumental project.
Dreamworks has said that this biopic would be the first movie approved by the King Estate and that it would use the civil rights leaders’ intellectual property in the its development.
However, two of MLK’s kids have threatened to sue over the biopic because it was brokered without their permission. Bernice King and Martin Luther King III claim their brother, Dexter, green lit the film without getting their input first.
Dexter is the chairman and CEO of King, Inc.; Bernice and Martin say his business decisions have damaged their parents’ legacy for years and that he’s been operating the King Estate without consulting them.
Martin said that this is simply the latest example of their exclusion.
"It’s not that we are against a film," he told the AP. "It’s very interesting to me that a company would engage in a business arrangement knowing that there’s severe controversy around many issues pertaining to the estate of Martin Luther King Jr."
"This is a deal that Mr. Spielberg and his people … have entered into believing that they have the blessing of the King Estate,” said Bernice. “They don’t have the blessings of Bernice and Martin King,"
Dreamworks has not said how much the deal is worth, and it’s unclear as to when the film will go into production.
— Sonya Eskridge