In another example of adaptation rights being picked up before a book is done, Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is finally making its way to a feature biopic. Variety reports that Universal has bought the rights to I Am a Man, a book currently being written by Hampton Sides about King's assassination in Memphis, and the hunt for James Earl Ray. The decision was made from an 11-page proposal that's being described as "a compressed historical thriller" by the author, who has a history with the King story -- his father's law firm had repped King, a friend's father was the neurosurgeon who operated on King, and Ray's lawyer was his dad's best friend. Mark Bowden, the pen behind Black Hawk Down and the upcoming Killing Pablo, has already been tapped to adapt it.

As the story goes, King had gone to Memphis to lead a garbage workers protest. While on the balcony of his hotel, he was shot and subsequently died. Two months later, James Earl Ray was caught, and later plead guilty to avoid a trial conviction and death sentence. This seems to be as far as the movie will take it, but considering the studios' addiction to dueling pictures, I wouldn't be surprised if we later see one about his work before, or the aftermath of his assassination. There has been much chatter about a conspiracy theory, which is further strengthened by the fact that King's family believes Ray didn't do it. But that's another story. Is his assassination and the hunt for Ray what you want to see hit the big screen?

categories Movies, Cinematical