It is the homecoming event of 2019. Following the production of the 2014 remake of Annie, Jay-Z and Will Smith have returned for their latest project and it’s a cinematic event for several reasons. No stranger to each other, the pair have dabbled in producing for a number of years now but as the realm of film and television slowly regresses back to remakes and reboots, the A-listers are bringing life back into the Civil Rights Movement.
Loosely based on Devery S. Anderson’s book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement, the soon-to-be-produced series was originally pitched to HBO five years ago under a different writer. After being shelved since then, the historic storyline has been picked up by the ABC as part of the civil rights anthology series Women of the Movement.
Set to be told in an eight-episode series, the ABC-led production will be told from the perspective of Mamie Till, Emmett Till’s mother who was at the forefront of activism for decades. Emmett Till was a 14-year-old African American who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, after being accused of offending a white woman in her family’s grocery store. Unfortunately, his story albeit infamous, is all too common during that time.
The Women of the Movement series will be written by Marissa Jo Cerar of The Handmaid’s Tale, while producers Will Smith and Jay-Z will be joined by Aaron Kaplan. Stay tuned for further developments.