The provocative comedian is currently most well-known for getting slapped on live television by Will Smith in 2022 and milking the situation on stage in his subsequent live comedy special. The past year’s events have also inspired conversations about the comic’s persistent misogynoir. Outside of recent headlines, though, Rock has recently been dabbling in more serious fare, from the underrated fourth season of Noah Hawley’s “Fargo” to the upcoming biography “Rustin,” in which Rock plays Civil Rights activist Roy Wilkins opposite Colman Domingo’s Bayard Rustin. As of publication time, there’s no casting information available for the newly announced King biopic.
“King: A Life” has been embraced as a definitive biopic of the minister and civil rights leader, who was assassinated in 1968. As the Chicago Review of Books notes, the complexities of King’s life, legacy, and radical ideals have been smoothed over for decades, but Eig’s book apparently aims to bring the man back into focus. The author reportedly uses newly available FBI documents, archives from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and extensive interviews to paint a complete portrait of a man who’s been oversimplified into a larger-than-life figure in the years since his death.
This sounds like an ambitious project for Rock and Spielberg alike, but it’s still very much in the early phases. Universal has optioned the rights to the book, and long-time Spielberg collaborator Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce, but little additional information is available yet. Deadline’s report crucially doesn’t mention who will be responsible for penning the script for the as-yet-untitled adaptation, and it has no release date at this time.