Jay Z and Will Smith Join Forces to Produce an HBO Miniseries About Emmett Till


The events surrounding the 1955 murder of Emmett Till will be the subject of an upcoming HBO miniseries, produced by Jay Z and Will Smith, reports Deadline.

Jay Brown (Roc Nation), James Lassiter (Overbrook Entertainment), and Aaron Kaplan (Kapital Entertainment) are also set to co-produce the untitled project, which is especially needed given the horrendously ongoing incidents of racialized violence — from the cases of police brutality to the Charleston massacre. It’s expected to have a of run six, hourlong episodes, and is in “active development,” though it does not yet have a writer attached.

Originally from Chicago, the 14-year-old Till was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he allegedly wolf-whistled at a 21-year old white woman, Carolyn Bryant, resulting in Bryant’s husband, Roy, and his half-brother, J.W. Milam, savagely torturing and shooting Till in the head a few days later. Bryant and Milam admitted to killing him after being acquitted the same year of the homicide, leaving them protected by the double jeopardy provision.

The series, which is preceded by stories of Till on 60 Minutes and a 2003 PBS documentary, will remind viewers of the murder that provoked a sense of solidarity towards fighting injustice, and was one of the events that helped bring about the Civil Rights Movement.