Barbara Broccoli to Produce Film About the Murder of Emmett Till

"On the eve of the 65th anniversary of the 1955 torture and lynching death of 14-year-old Emmett Louis Till, writer/director Chinonye Chukwu is set to direct a feature film about his tragic death and the relentless pursuit of justice by his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, whose insistence on an open casket funeral for her battered teenage son at the hands of a white mob became a galvanizing moment that helped lead to the creation of the civil rights movement.

The film is based on the extensive research of award-winning documentarian Keith Beauchamp and his relationship with Mamie Till Mobley and Emmett Till’s cousin, Simeon Wright. Latter was an eyewitness to the kidnapping of Till and served as a consultant to the project before his death in 2017. For more than 27 years, Beauchamp has investigated the kidnapping, torture and murder of Emmett Till, allegedly for whistling at a white woman. His efforts succeeded in getting the United States Department of Justice to reopen the case in 2004. Beauchamp’s research formed the basis for the original screenplay he co-authored with Michael J P Reilly and Chinonye Chukwu.

The image of Till’s face went far. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr called Till’s murder “one of the most brutal and inhuman crimes of the twentieth century,” and in reflecting on her decision not to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, Rosa Parks said, “I thought of Emmett Till and when the bus driver ordered me to move to the back, I just couldn’t move.”

Congress is in the process of ratifying the “Emmett Till Antilynching Act” which establishes a new criminal rights violation for lynching. The recently opened Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington DC houses a room dedicated to Emmett Till’s original glass topped casket.

Chukwu became the first Black woman to receive the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival for her film Clemency. The Till family story will be produced by Keith Beauchamp, Barbara Broccoli, Whoopi Goldberg, Thomas K Levine, Michael J P Reilly and Frederick Zollo.

“I am deeply honored to be telling this story and working with such an incredible producing team,” Chukwu said. “Amidst the pain and brutality that is inherent to Mamie and Emmett’s story, I intend to delve deeply into their humanities, the love and joy they shared, and the activist consciousness that grows within Mamie as she seeks justice for her son.”

Said Whoopi Goldberg: “Today the return of open racism reminds us that the real danger is in NOT telling Emmett Till’s story. Chinonye Chukwu taking the helm as our director is an opportunity for us to step forward artfully and without fear to tell the truth. We could not be in better hands.”

“I’m truly excited that we are teaming up with Chinonye to tell this powerful story. With Emmett Till’s name being spoken today among Black Lives Matter chants, it is more important than ever to understand why this senseless murder took place and the selfless actions taken by my dear friend Mrs Mamie Till Mobley that led to the mobilization of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement,” explains Keith Beauchamp. This isn’t a movie, it’s a movement.”

The film is scheduled for production in 2021 coinciding with what would have been Emmett Till’s 80th birthday.

Endeavor Content is representing worldwide rights."


  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 12,052
    Great, I like to see the Bond producers getting more involved in other movies.
  • Posts: 14,781
    mtm wrote: »
    Great, I like to see the Bond producers getting more involved in other movies.

    Me,too................especially CALL ME BWANA.
    I suppose it's too early to whine about BOND 26 being delayed now.

    Kidding aside, I don't blame Barbara for pursuing other projects. After the turmoil she must have gone thru to get NTTD finished and someday released, I wouldn't be surprised if she wanted to take a decade off away from Bond to produce other films.

    I've been curious about her other projects. I still have yet to see FILM STARS DON'T DIE IN LIVERPOOL, which is a film that sounds right up my alley. Always been a huge fan of Gloria Grahame, so I'll have to track that film down.
  • edited August 2020 Posts: 3,510
    Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is totally worth watching. BeatlesSansEarmuffs gives it four thumbs up!
  • edited August 2020 Posts: 12,724
    I enjoyed it too. But I found The Rythm Section pretty bland and disappointing.

    It’s cool seeing her continue to branch out though, and I’m looking forward to this. That murder was a gut wrenching bit of history, but it’s still relevant, and this seems to have the right people involved to handle it sensitively. I think the big risk with films about this part of American history is they can risk coming off as a little too audience comforting, in a “isn’t it a good job we defeated racism and that was that” sort of way. BlacKkKlansman recently had a brilliant way of getting around this with its ending. It’ll be interesting to see what they do here, but I’m optimistic it won’t fall into the same sort of traps as other films like it have. BB seems like a pretty socially conscious type; that report she funded into nepotism in the film industry shows she’s aware of her own privileges in life. And obviously there’s the research it’s based on and the director to inspire hope it’ll be handled well.
  • Posts: 11,482
    I figured there'd be something else before Bond 26, which is probably a VERY long way away. Hopeful this will be a good film.
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 2,067
    Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool is totally worth watching. BeatlesSansEarmuffs gives it four thumbs up!

    @BeatlesSansEarMuffs. I see what you did there 😊 😊!

    I’ve been meaning to see “Liverpool” for a couple of years now, but have never quite taken the plunge. Several years ago, as part of the promotional push for “Liverpool”, Annette Bening was on TCM and introduced several of Gloria Grahame’s movies.

    As for the Emmett Till movie, it certainly is a topic that more people should be aware of – especially in light of current events.
  • edited August 2020 Posts: 12,724
    FoxRox wrote: »
    I figured there'd be something else before Bond 26, which is probably a VERY long way away. Hopeful this will be a good film.

    Yeah, longer gaps seem to be the norm now anyway, but I think they won’t want to replace Craig for a while. With NTTD probably being delayed for the forseeable too, I think we‘ll be waiting until the latter half of the decade for the next Bond. 2026, 2027, maybe even 2028. After that gap though, I think finding a new actor could reenergise them, in the same way Dalton did Cubby.

    I’m okay with it personally. The way I see it, them going off and producing these other films between Bonds means they’re less likely to get tired and sell the franchise. Which to me is a very good thing. My worst nightmare is Disney or someone getting their hands on it and turning it into a Marvel style, run of the mill production line sort of franchise. Bond has done well to keep its magic all these years. Not sure I’d trust anyone other than EON with it.
  • Posts: 14,781
    I don't think we'll be seeing B26 until the next decade. Perhaps 2032 to coincide with the 70th anniversary?
    By that rationale SKYFALL will be 20 years old and there would have only been two Bond films in between.
    Sounds about right.
  • Posts: 533
    Wow! This ought to be interesting.
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