Chris Rock To Helm Martin Luther King Jr. Biopic For Universal: Steven Spielberg Producing


Chris Rock, the acclaimed actor and comedian, is poised to delve into the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. He is currently in the final stages of negotiations to direct and produce a biographical film about the late civil rights icon. This significant project is set to be developed under the banner of Universal, which has secured the rights to Jonathan Eig’s widely-praised biography, “King: A Life.”


The Biography Behind the Biopic

The foundation of this project lies in the critically acclaimed biography “King: A Life,” penned by Jonathan Eig. This literary work, which garnered a National Book Award nomination, was released in May and offered fresh insights into Martin Luther King Jr.’s life by utilizing recently discovered FBI information. It presents an intimate and complex portrayal of King, depicting him as a brave yet emotionally vulnerable individual who advocated for peaceful protests while grappling with personal weaknesses and a government that pursued him.

Executive Producers and Collaborators

"Renowned comedian Chris Rock is set to direct a biographical film about Martin Luther King Jr., with Steven Spielberg as executive producer."

Renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg is set to serve as the executive producer of this biopic through his production company, Amblin Partners. The film will be produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, adding further depth and talent to the creative team.


Chris Rock’s Directorial Journey

Chris Rock, already known for his work behind the camera, has previously directed and starred in the well-received film “Top Five” (2014). His directorial credits also include “Head of State” (2003) and “I Think I Love My Wife” (2007). While actively participating in the civil rights biopic “Rustin,” directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Colman Domingo, Chris Rock is also exploring new horizons with his Netflix live stand-up special “Selective Outrage.” His presence in David O. Russell’s “Amsterdam” ensemble cast in the previous year was another notable addition to his career. Furthermore, he is currently developing an animated comedy titled “Everybody Still Hates Chris” for Paramount+ and Comedy Central.

Representation and Reporting

Chris Rock is represented by CAA, Untitled Entertainment, Yorn Levine, and Vision PR. The initial report on this project was first covered by Deadline.


The decision of Chris Rock to take on the responsibility of directing and producing a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic is a significant development in the world of film. With the backing of Universal and the source material provided by Jonathan Eig’s biography, “King: A Life,” this project holds great promise. The involvement of renowned figures like Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger as executive producers ensures that this biographical film will be closely watched by both the industry and the audience.

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