Promising to pit the unstoppable force of America’s compulsion to revisit the wounds of civil rights history with the immoveable object of their strange aversion to watching David Simon projects, HBO is developing a Simon-produced six-hour miniseries on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The project, like so many MLK concepts, has been in the works for several years under the stewardship of Oprah Winfrey—whose drive to make something King-related also extends to the Paramount feature Selma, which she recently signed on to produce. (Save some Martin Luther King for the rest of us, Oprah.)
That film is narrowly focused on the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, while the six-hour miniseries will cover King’s entire life, everything from his relationships with the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson to the freedom rides to his assassination. It’s a story of struggle filled with minor victories and incredible setbacks that ends depressingly—in other words, a perfect project for David Simon to write and produce with his Wire/Treme collaborator Eric Overmeyer.