I can see the broad outline of it now: Spielberg’s Lincoln, should it ever get made, will be the first chapter in the trilogy. The second will be simply called King, and it will emerge from the deal just announced that gives Dreamworks the life rights to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And then the finale, in about ten years… Obama.
Tell me this doesn’t make sense.
Of course this trilogy that I just made up is only in the baby stages. Lincoln remains unable to get the financing it needs (Spielberg can’t find the money to make Oscar bait? WTF?), and the Martin Luther King movie is only one deal closer to happening. But it’s a big deal.
The big deal is that King copyrighted his books and speeches, and the deal Dreamworks made with the King estate is the first time they’ve given someone authorization to make a movie based on the man’s life and to use all of his works. That means this will be the definitive (but also very, very kind to him) biopic about Dr. King.
“We are all honored that the King Estate is giving us the opportunity
to tell the story of these defining, historic events,” Spielberg press released to Variety.
“It is our hope that the creative power of film and the impact of Dr.
King’s life can combine to present a story of undeniable power that we
can all be proud of.”
Of course there are some (idiots, racists) who will wonder why now, with a black president, do we need a Martin Luther King movie? Stacy Snider, Dreamworks CEO, lays the smack down upon them. “In trying to tackle such an ambitious project, the question we had to
ask ourselves is, ‘Why now?'” Snider said. “The answer lies in MLK’s
own words: ‘All progress is precarious.’ With every step forward, new
obstacles emerge and we must never forget that his life and his
teachings continue to challenge us every day to stand up to hatred and
As of now Spielberg isn’t directing; nobody is. He’s onboard as a producer, but once a script happens, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this film added to the director’s ever-growing plate of possibilities.
By the way, when all three movies of my made-up trilogy are out on DVD they’ll be rebranded (a la the Indiana Jones movies) to make them cohesive. Lincoln: The Dream Begins. King: Keeping the Dream Alive. And Obama: Dreaming the Cube.