Actor Hugh Jackman is signing on for a potentially controversial historical drama which looks at a lawyer’s attempt to exonerate James Earl Ray for the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. The film, which is set to be directed by Precious auteur Lee Daniels, is called Orders to Kill, and will explore conspiracy theories surrounding the death of the legendary civil rights leader. The Los Angeles Times reports:
Lee Daniels and Hugh Jackman failed to get a civil rights picture off the ground when their passion project “Selma” fell apart two years ago. But the pair are taking another crack at that subject, exploring the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination with a new film that takes an unconventional view of King’s murder.
Daniels will direct and Jackman will star in “Orders to Kill,” a story that aims to tell an alternative version of the King shooting, according to a person familiar with the project who was not authorized to talk about it publicly. Millennium Films will produce and finance the film, which is currently being shopped around to distributors in Hollywood. A Millennium spokeswoman did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The film will tell the story of William Pepper (Jackman), a controversial attorney and activist who for decades has argued that convicted killer James Earl Ray, who recanted his confession and died arguing his innocence, didn’t shoot MLK.
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