By Howard Pousner
Kenny Leon, the Atlanta director who cast P. Diddy in “A Raisin in the Sun” and has Denzel Washington starring in a 10-time Tony-nominated revival of “Fences,” is considering Samuel L. Jackson for the role of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Broadway.
Leon confirmed Friday that Jackson performed the lines of the Atlanta-born civil rights leader at a script reading of “The Mountaintop” in New York this week. The drama, which imagines events in King’s life on the night before his assassination, appears headed for a Broadway mounting in the fall or spring.
Jackson’s casting is “not a done deal, but we did have a reading,” Leon acknowledged by e-mail.
“We are working out the details with Sam,” Leon said, declining to discuss his thoughts behind the casting. “I think March looks better than October. Not set, but it’s looking like it may happen.”
Leon, who attended Clark College, and Jackson, who attended Morehouse College, were acquaintances who became closer as their careers caught fire.
Jackson was in Atlanta last weekend for a reading of “A Soldier’s Play” and a celebrity golf tournament, both benefiting Leon’s Atlanta-based troupe, True Colors Theatre Company.