In an interview with GlobalGrind during a press event for her upcoming film, Proud Mary, Taraji P. Henson has revealed she is producing and starring in an upcoming film on the life of Emmett Till. The film, now titled The Emmett Till Story, will be directed by John Singelton and Henson she will portray Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley.
She said, “We don’t have a start date yet, but the deal definitely has been done. That’s one (project) I’ve been passionate about since Trayvon Martin was murdered.”
While we initially thought this was the first public announcement about the project, news about the film actually appeared back in February 2017 in a Vanity Fair piece about other Till projects in the works. Back then, Vanity Fair reported that Singleton was directing and Henson starring — with Michael De Luca and Laray Mayfield producing, and Michael Roden and Jerry Mitchell writing the script.
Here are the other projects on Emmett Till that have been announced over the past few years. The status of these projects is currently unknown:
— In 2016, Goldberg has now also signed up to direct an Emmett Till film in her narrative feature directorial debut. This Emmett Till film hails from Keith A. Beauchamp (the director of the 2005 documentary, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till) and producer Frederick Zollo (Mississippi Burning, Ghosts of Mississippi), and will be based on Beauchamp’s documentary, as well as Simeon Wright’s Simeon’s Story: An Eyewitness Account of the Kidnapping of Emmett Till.
— A film produced by the late Roger Ebert’s wife Chaz Ebert, based on the book, “Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America,” co-written by Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley (who passed away in 2003), and journalist Christopher Benson. No director, writer or cast attached.
— Another film would be based on the play, The Face of Emmett Till. Skyland Pictures and FireRock Bay Pictures are behind the project, which James Moll is attached to direct, from a script penned by David Barr III and David Scott Hay, who are also co-producing. And just like the Chaz Ebert project, which will be based on a book co-written by Emmett Till’s mother, the play that this film will be based on, was also co-written by Till’s mother, the late Mamie Till-Mobley, along with David Barr III. The Face of Emmett Till is a true-to-life dramatization of the death of Till and the aftermath. The film adaptation had been set for a 2016 shoot in Chicago and Mississippi.
— An HBO miniseries, from a producing team that includes Will Smith, Jay-Z and Aaron Kaplan, based on Devery Anderson’s 2015 biography, Emmett Till. Deadline had described the series is described as “an immersive and in-depth exploration of the Emmett Till story.” Steven Caple, Jr., who was just recently announced as the new director for Creed 2, was on board to write the script for the 6-hour miniseries.