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Paul Greengrass to explore the shaky days that led to Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination

With Wesley Snipes safely out of the way, director Paul Greengrass is free to pursue his own film examining the events that led to Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination: Titled Memphis, the drama is borne out of Greengrass’ own research into King’s life, specifically the time he spent in the city in the spring of 1968 trying to organize its sanitation workers before he was gunned down on April 4. According to Vulture, that narrowly defined setting means it’s likely to be “a much more human portrayal of King,” examining the toll his rumored philandering had taken on his marriage as well as King’s increased ostracizing both from the political mainstream, due to his staunch opposition to the Vietnam War, and from the urban civil rights movement, due to the influence of the more aggressive Black Power groups. (And of course, King was also hitting the booze pretty hard around that time.)

All of that is just early speculation of course, as is any idea as to whether Greengrass plans to keep the focus squarely on King and the known facts or attempt to delineate the various shadowy conspiracy theories surrounding his death; given that Greengrass is the guy behind both straightforward films like Bloody Sunday, with its near-documentary style, and the Bourne films, it could probably go either way.


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