Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 by Germain Lussier
David Simon, creator of The Wire, has found his next project: a Martin Luther King Jr miniseries. Simon is attached to an upcoming HBO miniseries based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning history books America: In The King Years, by Taylor Branch. Oprah Winfrey‘s Harpo Productions owns the rights and will produce.
Simon will reportedly write the first episode and oversee the six-hour long show with his Treme co-creator Eric Overmyer. The novels cover the bulk of the civil rights movement from 1954-1968.
Deadline broke the news of this potentially massive project. They say it’ll cover “King and his relationships with Lyndon Johnson, John F and Robert Kennedy, as well as the freedom rides, the Birmingham and Selma campaigns, and the poor people’s march on Washington that he was organizing when he was killed in Memphis.”
America: In the King Years is a trilogy books (Parting the Waters, Pillar of Fire and At Canaan’s Edge) by Taylor Branch. The first volume won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1989; they were published in 1988, 1998 and 2006 respectively.
While Simon is best known for his fictional series’ The Wire, Homicide and Treme, he also did a miniseries based on fact called Generation Kill, which is incredible and highly underrated. His involvement is an incredible “get” for Harpo as well as for HBO. He’s not only a talented storyteller, he’s got the ability to make television that’s harrowingly realistic but also captivating and entertaining.
America: In The King Years isn’t the only Martin Luther King Jr. project in development. Winfrey is also producing a film called Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay and set up at Paramount. That one seems further along that the DreamWorks project, which Oliver Stone just left, as well as Paul Greengrass’ Memphis, which has been in flux for a long time.
One of our great storytellers telling one America’s great stories on one of our best channels. What’s not to like about this Martin Luther King Jr. miniseries?