JAY-Z and Will Smith’s Emmett Till series has finally found a home. The long-gestating project will air on ABC, focusing on the story of Till’s mother Mamie Till-Mobley, who fought for civil rights for the rest of her life after the murder of her son.
Till was murdered at the age of 14 after he allegedly spoke to a white cashier in Money, Mississippi. The woman working the cash register admitted to fabricating the idea that Till was inappropriate toward her, however her story led to Till being abducted from his family’s home, brutally beaten, shot in the head and then tossed into a nearby river. Till-Mobley famously asked that her son’s casket be left open during his funeral in Chicago and the photos of the aftermath of his lynching spread throughout the nation. The story of the teenager who was killed by a mob in Mississippi was a flashpoint for the Civil Rights movement. Smith and JAY-Z will tell his mother’s story as a part of the planned series Women of the Movement. The anthology will focus on different important women in the Civil Rights Movement and tell their stories over the course of a single season.
Smith and JAY-Z’s respective production companies have worked together in the past, most notably on the 2014 remake of Annie. The series was initially pitched to HBO 5 years ago. It was still going to focus on Emmett Till, but was framed as a one-off miniseries telling that singular story. When the series moved to left HBO, it was rewritten as part of a larger anthology focusing on the women who fought for equality in the ’50s, ’60s, and onward.