One of the constants of movie blogging is receiving comments from unknown actors (and non-actors) who think they're perfect for such and such part. This is mostly the case with announcements of high-profile biopics and other similar projects based on a true story. For example, last year when news came out that Steven Spielberg is planning a film about Martin Luther King Jr., I wrote on potential casting ideas at another site and got comments from a few people who would rather see themselves in the role of the civil rights leader rather than some A-list actor.

One guy included his phone number in his comment, while another man linked to his website. The latter, a "motivational performer" who recites Dr. King's speeches across the nation, does indeed deserve to star in a film. But not Spielberg's. Instead, I propose that he play himself in a meta movie about his wish. It would obviously be called...

I Have a Dream

This movie could work with any kind of biopic, but the MLK angle obviously fits with the holiday. and the title. It'd be kind of a cross between Harmony Korine's movie about celebrity impersonators, Mister Lonely, and that episode of Growing Painsin which Mike and his girlfriend naively hope to be cast in a Broadway revival of Our Town after starring in their high school production of the play. When Spielberg's project was announced, the "motivational performer," Stephon Ferguson, began a campaign to acquire the film's lead. He started taking acting classes and started both a website devoted to his mission and a Facebook page titled "Stephon Ferguson for the MLK Role," which has almost 750 supporters. Apparently he's scheduled to audition for the movie this month.

I don't think I'm being too pessimistic or cynical in believing Ferguson won't get the part, especially if someone like Jamie Foxx is interested in the part. And I wish someone was documenting his campaign (maybe someone is?), because the story is perfect for a non-fiction film. But if there is no documentary, I'd love to see someone turn the tale into a reflexive film -- maybe even a semi-dramatized documentary like an Errol Morris or Michael Winterbottom film.

I imagine it being a road movie, though, and that's probably not what Ferguson's real trip to Hollywood will be like. I also see the film being a commentary on the concept of biopics and celebrities impersonating other celebrities. I'd also love for some kind of prompt for discussion of how A-list actors like Jamie Foxx are more likely to garner awards for biopic performances than a no-name actor like Sam Riley (Control) or casting call winner Jamal Woolard (Notorious).

An alternate title for this pitch is The Man Who Would Be King, which might not be available due to the 1975 John Huston film.
categories Cinematical