Forest Whitaker is in talks to take on the role of Martin Luther King Jr in a forthcoming film.

The actor could play the civil rights activist in Memphis, a documentary-style feature which will be directed by Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum, Green Zone).

Greengrass wrote the script for the film, which has been described as his "passion project".

Memphis will chronicle Dr King's last days, with the film focusing on his personal life, the civil rights movement and his last protest march in Tennessee.

The Wrap reports that Greengrass recently secured financing for the project through Veritas Films and French financier Wild Bunch.

The project previously was to be produced via Universal Pictures, but fell through due to financing and scheduling issues.

Scott Rudin will serve as a producer on the project.

Whitaker will next be seen in the title role of Lee Daniels's White House-set historical drama The Butler.