Chris Rock knows that his forthcoming Martin Luther King biopic, reported yesterday by Deadline‘s Mike Fleming, can’t be hagiography.

This partly means that it has to get into MLK’s infidelities with white women, which the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover, armed with with secretly recorded motel-room tapes, tried to blackmail King with.

Years ago Oliver Stone and Paul Greengrass wanted to explore this aspect in their own respective King biopics, but both projects stalled. (Greengrass’s was titled Memphis.) On 1.17.14 Fleming reported the skinny.

If Rock paints a saintly, over-reverent portrait he’ll put everyone to sleep. Surely he understands this.

The fact that Rock’s untitled film is based upon Jonathan Eig’s “King: A Life” suggests that Rock will be taking at least something of a warts-and-all approach.

The book has been described by its publisher as an “intimate portrayal of King as a courageous but emotionally troubled individual who demanded peaceful protest while grappling with his own frailties and a government that hunted him.”

An 8.14.23 Amazon review by Bill Emblom states that Eig’s book “covers the adulteries that King was involved in…[the ones] that Hoover wanted to ensnare him in through bugging his phone or room at the Willard Hotel in Washington.”

Football star and actor Jim Brown was into white women also. Was this due to Brown being a somewhat frail, emotionally troubled guy, or was it because his tastes simply led him in this direction? Remember that Spartacus scene in which Laurence Olivier‘s Marcus Licinius Crassus says he enjoys both snails and oysters? Were Crassus’s appetites an outgrowth of his being an emotionally unstable fellow? As J.J. Hunsecker once said, “Are we kids or what?”

Steven Spielberg will executive produce via his Amblin with Kristie Macosko Krieger producing.