THR is reporting that Empire and Proud Mary star Taraji P. Henson is teaming with director John Singleton (Four Brothers) for a movie based upon the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy who was brutally killed by two white men in Mississippi in 1955.
The film will see Henson producing, as well as starring as Till’s mother Mamie Till-Mobley, who following her son’s murder would become a staunch advocate for social justice. Singleton is set to direct the film from a script by Gregory Allen Howard (Ali, Remember the Titans).
Chicago native Till was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he was accused of flirting with a white woman Carolyn Bryant. Her husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam then abducted the boy, savagely beating him and mutilating his body before shooting him and dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River. Following his murder, Till’s mother insisted on an open-coffin funeral, with the photographs of his body gaining international attention and putting the spotlight on the lack of black rights in the U.S. South. Bryant and Milam were subsequently acquitted of the kidnapping and murder by an all-white jury, after which they publicly admitted to the crime, project by double jeopardy laws.