Forest Whitaker reportedly in talks to play Martin Luther King Jr.

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Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker may be taking on another big movie role after reports say he may play Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the silver screen.

Film director Paul Greengrass (United 93) is in the early stages of developing a drama titled Memphis, which documents King’s final days and sheds light on his personal and professional life.

According to The Wrap, Whitaker is in talks to play the civil rights leader in the film – which is also expected to chronicle King’s involvement in the civil rights movement and his last protest march in Memphis, Tennessee before his assassination by James Earl Ray.

However, the King family is also developing their own biopic with Dreamworks and have reportedly objected Greengrass’ production.

Vulture reports Greengrass’ movie focuses on MLK during the spring of 1968 a time where “his marriage was faltering; he was chain-smoking, boozing, and packing on the pounds.”

If Whitaker does in fact take on the role in Memphis, he joins a slew of actors who have played the legendary icon on the big screen and Broadway including Samuel L. Jackson, Jeffrey Wright and James Earl Jones.

This year, Whitaker will star in The Butler, a movie directed by Lee Daniels, which recreates the life of White House service worker Eugene Allen.

The star-studded cast also includes big names like Oprah Winfrey, Lenny Kravitz, Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr.

The Butler is set to hit theaters on October 18, 2013.

Follow Lilly Workneh @Lilly_Works