Thursday, October 6, 2022

Jay Z and Will Smith Team Up For Emmett Till HBO Miniseries

Jay Z, Emmett Till and Will Smith

*Following up on their work as producers on the 2014 remake of “Annie,” Jay Z and Will Smith are teaming up for a miniseries on slain teen Emmett Till.

Deadline reports that Jigga and his partner Jay Brown of Roc Nation, Smith and James Lassiter of Overbrook Entertainment and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment will serve as executive producers for the untitled project, which will air on HBO.

The site goes on to reveal that the miniseries, which is currently in active development, is being described as an immersive and in depth exploration of the Emmett Till story. A search is currently on to find a writer for the project, which will likely be a six-hour miniseries.

Till was 14 when he visited relatives in Money, Mississippi in August 1955. During his visit, he spoke and possibly flirted with Carolyn Bryant, the 21-year-old White co-owner of a local grocery store, and reportedly asking her on a date. Deadline notes that Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam went to Till’s great-uncle’s house several nights later and forcefully took the teen and tortured him before shooting him in the head. The men ultimately threw Till’s body in the Tallahatchie River.

Although Brown and Milam were acquitted of Till’s kidnapping and murder in September 1955, they later used the protection of the double jeopardy provision when admitting to killing Till.

To highlight the brutality of Till’s murder, the teen’s mother Mamie insisted on an open-casket public funeral. The image of Till’s mutilated body shocked the country. Mamie’s telling of her son’s death while on a successful tour for the NAACP is regarded as a tipping point for the civil rights movement. Till’s original casket is currently sits at the Smithsonian.

You can see that iconic photo of Till  HERE. Be warned, it’s extremely gruesome and grisly

Rosa Parks cited Till three months after his death and two months after Brown and Milam’s trial. The young boy’s death proved to be a motivator for Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white bus driver as she stated, “I thought of Emmett Till and I just couldn’t go back.”

The Emmett Till miniseries will not be the first time Till’s story has been brought to the big and small screen. The story has been featured in a 2003 feature documentary and a PBS program.

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