Ronald Harwood to Pen Martin Luther King, Jr.

ON

DreamWorks Studios has hired Oscar-winning playwright and screenwriter Ronald Harwood (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Pianist) to write the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, reports Risky Business.

King, who was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis at the age of 39, copyrighted his speeches, books and famous works during his lifetime. The DreamWorks project marks the first film to be authorized by King’s estate and gives the producers the right to utilize King’s intellectual property — including his famous “I Have a Dream” speech delivered during the 1963 March on Washington — to create the definitive portrait of his life.

“His record of achievements makes him particularly suited to portraying this deeply personal story against the background of such a turbulent time,” said Mark Sourian and Holly Bario, who run production at the studio.

Steven Spielberg is producing along with Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones.