Chris Rock Tapped to Direct Martin Luther King Jr. Biopic for Universal

Chris Rock and Martin Luther King Jr (Credit: Shutterstock and Deposit Photos)

Chris Rock plans to bring the story of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to the screen.

Rock is in final talks to direct a feature film on the late Civil Rights icon, with Steven Spielberg on board as executive producer, according to a Thursday report by The Hollywood Reporter.

The film will be based on the New York Times best-selling biography King: A Life, by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jonathan Eig.

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Universal Pictures acquired the rights to the book, which was published in May 2023 by Macmillan.

The publisher’s description says the biography offers an “intimate view of the courageous and often emotionally troubled human being who demanded peaceful protest for his movement but was rarely at peace with himself.” The book is described as the first King biography to include recently declassified FBI files.

King led a nonviolent movement for justice, equality and peace. He was assassinated at age 39, in 1968.

Kristie Macosko Krieger and Amblin Partners will co-produce the film alongside Rock, while Universal’s Senior Vice President of Production Development Ryan Jones will oversee production.

Chris Rock previously directed Head of State (2003), I Think I Love My Wife (2007), and Top Five (2014). This will be the first non-comedy film the actor and comedian has helmed.