King’s children balk at biopic

DreamWorks Studios plans to tell Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s story on the big screen in a film to be co-produced by Steven Spielberg, the studio announced Tuesday.

ATLANTA — DreamWorks Studios plans to tell Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s story on the big screen in a film to be co-produced by Steven Spielberg, the studio announced Tuesday.

The studio describes it as a monumental project — but two of King’s children threatened legal action over the film deal because it was brokered without their blessing.

Dreamworks touted the project in a press release as the first theatrical motion picture authorized by the estate using King’s intellectual property, including copyrighted speeches and other works, as the basis for the film.

Dexter King, one of the late civil rights leader’s sons, said in a press release that he hoped the movie would “be the definitive film” on his father’s legacy. Two other King siblings — Bernice King and Martin Luther King III — said they oppose the deal, which they say was brokered by Dexter without their input.

Dexter is the chairman and chief executive officer of King, Inc.

A spokesman for Dexter King did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday afternoon.

The three siblings have been involved in several legal disputes regarding their parents’ intellectual property in the past year.

Bernice King and Martin Luther King III have accused their brother of tarnishing their parents’ legacy with his business decisions, and say he has been operating The King Estate for years without their input.