Timely news comes on the heels of Martin Luther King Jr. Day: DreamWorks has tapped a screenwriter for its biopic about the civil rights leader. Ronald Harwood, who won an Oscar for penning Roman Polanski's Holocaust drama The Pianist, will handle the task of adapting MLK's life once again for the screen, this time with the authorization of part of the King Estate. While other films and miniseries about or involving the Reverend Doctor have been made in the past, none have been approved by any members of his family or had access to his intellectual property (such as the "I Have a Dream" speech). This as yet untitled biopic will also be a bigger deal than past efforts due to the fact it's being produced by Steven Spielberg.

Harwood is also a pretty significant player. In addition to winning an Academy Award, he's been nominated for his scripts for The Dresser and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Other films he's written include Australia, The Browning Version and Polanski's film of Oliver Twist. He also has experience with civil rights subject matter. A native of South Africa, Harwood wrote the adaptation for the apartheid drama Cry, the Beloved Country and the made-for-TV biopic Mandela, starring Danny Glover as the anti-apartheid activist (and South African president-to-be). He's also covered the apartheid subject in novels and plays.
categories Cinematical