*Whoopi Goldberg is slated to star as Emmett Till’s grandmother in an upcoming feature drama about the racially charged killing of the teenager in 1955.
Per Variety, Danielle Deadwyler will star in Chinonye Chukwu’s upcoming film “Till,” about Mamie Till-Mobley’s fight for justice for her 14-year-old son. Deadwyler will portray Mamie Till-Mobley, while Goldberg is set to play Alma Carthan. She will also serve as a producer on the project alongside Keith Beauchamp, Barbara Broccoli, Thomas K. Levine, Michael JP Reilly and Frederick Zollo.
“We have waited a very long time to bring this historically necessary important film to people,” Goldberg said. “And as we watch the repression of American History when it comes to people of color it makes it even that more important. I couldn’t be with better people: Fred, Barbara, Chinonye, Keith, Michael and Danielle.”
Deadwyler added, “It is a gift to learn the legacy and intimacies of our ancestors, those familial and communal, as is the life of Mamie Till-Mobley, a public leader and mother of the movement.”
Till is the black Chicago teen who was brutally murdered by white racists Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam in Money, Mississippi on August 28, 1955. It launched a new era in the modern civil rights movement. Till’s mother, Mamie Till, allowed Jet Magazine to publish pictures of his mangled body in an effort to show the world what racists in Mississippi had done to her only child.
The upcoming movie “Till” chronicles Mamie’s decision to have an open casket at Emmett’s funeral and to allow Jet magazine to publish David Jackson’s funeral photos.
“I am charged with humility and great will to embody her life at such an integral moment of personal tragedy and political rebellion, a boon to the civil rights movement, and to represent the joy in the love and life shared between Mamie Till and her beloved Emmett Till,” Deadwyler continued. “I am grateful for the women who support me as the one to carry the labor of this embodiment and as an inheritor of such a lineage. Much gratitude for Chinonye Chukwu, Barbara Broccoli, Whoopi Goldberg, Alana Mayo, and Pam Abdy, amongst many others, for the undertaking we seek to uplift and transfigure with this film.”
Chukwu also wrote the screenplay, based on a previous draft by Beauchamp.
“I’m honored to be partnering with MGM’s Orion Pictures and an incredible producing team in telling a story that will delve deeply into the humanities of Mamie and Emmett, the love and joy they shared, and the activist consciousness that grows within Mamie as she seeks justice for her son,” Chukwu said.
About the film’s stars, she added: “I’m thrilled to be working with Danielle, a powerhouse of an actor, who will bring a brilliant complexity and groundedness to her portrayal of Mamie. And it is a dream come true to be working with the legendary Whoopi Goldberg, especially in telling this story.”