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Lee Daniels Will Direct MLK Assassination film, Orders to Kill, Starring Hugh Jackman

Written by Alexander Tucker   // 08/01/2012

Lee Daniels



In an exclusive from the LA Times, they report Precious Director Lee Daniels will tackle the Martin Luther King killing with Hugh Jackman as his lead in a new filmed titled, ‘Orders to Kill.’


The film is about  “William Pepper (Hugh 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.”


“The picture will follow Pepper over the years as he wages a one-man campaign, interviewing witnesses and building support for his theory that other interests, including those from the U.S. government, were behind the 1968 Memphis killing. Basically, Pepper, who is still alive, argues that government interests wanted King dead because of his opposition to the Vietnam War.” Crazy I know.


But listen to this, Martin Luther King Jr.’s son Dexter King, came to believe the bullet was fired by a Memphis police officer. And in a 1999 wrongful-death lawsuit against a man and unknown co-conspirators filed by the Kings and argued by Pepper was found in favor of the plaintiff. The trial will be the climactic section of the film, according to the person familiar with the project.


Millennium Films is producing and financing, but a distributor isn’t lined up yet.


The film is bound to be controversial. Orders to Kill certainly has echoes of “JFK,” Oliver Stone’s film from 20 years ago that also argued for a broad conspiracy behind the assassination of a 1960s icon.


Look for Lee Daniels to make his comeback here after his last film The Paperboy, starring Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman was crushed at Cannes.


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