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Will Smith, Jay Z Executive Team Up To Produce Emmett Till HBO Miniseries

by Alyssa Ladzinski   Jul 24, 2015 20:45 PM EDT

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Will Smith and Tidal owner Jay Z have decided to join forces yet again for an HBO miniseries documenting the life and story surrounded Emmett Till, a teenager who died in 1955, sparking the civil rights movement. Writers are being sought out for the as-of-yet un-titled project expected to span six hours.

Till was brutally murdered in Mississippi at the young age of 14 after allegedly flirting with an older, married white woman. Two men were charged with the murder and later acquitted, even after they admitted to taking the life of the young boy, still managing to skim past prosecution. Till's mother, Mamie Mobley, allowed the funeral to bear an open casket, showing his mutilated body and becoming a catalyst to the civil rights movement. Just three months later in Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her seat on a bus to a white rider. "I thought of Emmett Till and I just couldn't go back," she later recalled, notes Deadline.

The two rappers have joined forces once before to produce the 2014 remake of Annie and Fela!, the Fela Kuti-inspired Broadway musical notes Rolling Stone. Jay Z's Roc Nation has assisted production on a number of projects including The Great Gatsby musical, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air star recently appeared on his son Jaden Smith's 24/7 Beats 1 radio show available on Apple Music.

Deadline reports the Till project is in "active development," although no premiere date has been set. The announcement of the civil rights miniseries comes two days prior to what would have been the 74th birthday of Emmett Till.

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