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Who Should Play Martin Luther King?

The news came in today that Dreamworks has bought the rights to the life story of Martin Luther King. However you swing it, this will be a huge and historic release.

The big question, of course, is who gets the part. I asked the team and here are our suggestions…

Colleen Last, MSN Entertainment Editor – Denzel Washington


“One of the few actors with the gravitas to play Martin Luther King. Washington has successfully played real-life figures before, such as Malcolm X, and has years of experience playing weighty roles in films including American Gangster and Training Day.”

James Hurley, MSN Music Editor – Ice Cube


“Ice Cube is a highly underrated actor who hasn’t always helped his own cause by playing gangsta types. This would be a risk for all involved but might just be the making of him. Also, the physical resemblance is closer than that of Will Smith, Denzel Washington, or any of the more predictable candidates.”

Ian Jones, MSN Homepage Editor – Idris Elba


“The bloke who plays Stringer Bell in The Wire. Idris Elba is his name. I’d no idea he was British until I read it in the paper. He’s a brilliant actor: he’d play MLK with just the right mix of anger and humility.“

Paul Carmichael, MSN Homepage Editor – Laurence Fishburne


“Laurence Fishburne. 30 years after he seemed set for superstardom when he boogied to the Stones in Apocalypse Now, Larry’s career has rarely hit the heights. He is though hugely underrated and could I reckon deliver a cracking performance as MLK.”

Mike Lok, MSN Content Manager – Avery Brooks


“Avery Brooks, a much underrated actor that will probably be forever known as Captain Sisko from Star Trek Deep Space 9, he beat 100 other actors to become the first African-American to lead the series. While Trek never asks for Oscar winning performances from its cast, Avery punched way above what was ever required of him, showing depth, emotion and passion that is waiting to be showcased on the silver screen.”

Lorna Cooper, MSN TV Editor – Jamie Foxx?


“If one is looking at the relatively small pool of A-list black movie actors, it’s difficult to see an obvious choice. Maybe Jamie Foxx? However, I personally think they should cast an unknown, or relative unknown, in the main role of Doctor King – that would be a story in itself. Supporting character roles can be filled by names if need be. Besides, curiosity and word-of-mouth have been proven to get bums on seats in the past.”

My Choice? – Cuba Gooding Jr


Gooding hasn’t done anything anyone’s heard of since Pearl Harbour. And everyone knows that was rubbish! But he’s a formidable talent with a voice to match the highs of those historic King speeches. He’s due a big role like this.

Anyway – those are our thoughts. How awful are our selections? Click “Comments” below and tell us. Please feel free to stick your own casting ideas in there.


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