Scott Cooper To Direct MLK Assassination Film 'Hellhound On His Trail'

With the exception of Selma, making a film about civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. has proven exceedingly difficult. In the case of movies about his assassination, it's been nearly impossible. Just ask Paul Greengrass, whose script for Memphis was put to ground before it ever had a chance. And there has been similar issue adapting Hamption Sides' non-fiction bestseller, Hellhound On His Trail, considered by many to be one of the finest accounts of the players involved.

Well, now there's hope as Deadline reports Scott Cooper will adapt and direct Hellhound On His Trail, which is set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement. Intercutting between the neurotic James Earl Ray and the command Dr. King, it chronicles the forces that led to their deadly encounter, then the FBI manhunt that followed.

Cooper is the director who broke out with Crazy Heart, which earned Jeff Bridges an Oscar for Best Actor. He followed that up with Out of the Furnace then the mobster tale, Black Mass. His next film, Hostiles, which stars Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike, will premiere at TIFF next month.