July 27, 2021
Photo by Mondadori Portfolio/Getty Images
Sunday (July 25) marked what would have been Emmett Till‘s 80th birthday. And decades after his murder, Whoopi Goldberg will star and produce in a film about Mamie Till-Mobley that is a “historically necessary important film.”
Danielle Deadwyler (Watchmen) will portray Till-Mobley as she fights justice for her 14-year-old son ultimately leading to the civil rights movement. The View host will play Till’s grandmother, Alma Carthan.
Till follows Till-Mobley’s decision to have an open casket at Emmett’s funeral and allow Jet magazine to publish David Jackson’s funeral photos to ensure people everywhere knew what happened to her son.
“We have waited a very long time to bring this historically necessary important film to people,” Goldberg said in a statement obtained by Variety. “And as we watch the repression of American History when it comes to people of color it makes it even that more important. I couldn’t be with better people: Fred, Barbara, Chinonye, Keith, Michael and Danielle.”
When speaking to what it means to be cast in the film, Deadwyler shared “It is a gift to learn the legacy and intimacies of our ancestors, those familial and communal, as is the life of Mamie Till-Mobley, a public leader and mother of the movement.”
“I am charged with humility and great will to embody her life at such an integral moment of personal tragedy and political rebellion, a boon to the civil rights movement, and to represent the joy in the love and life shared between Mamie Till and her beloved Emmett Till,” she continued. “I am grateful for the women who support me as the one to carry the labor of this embodiment and as an inheritor of such a lineage. Much gratitude for Chinonye Chukwu, Barbara Broccoli, Whoopi Goldberg, Alana Mayo, and Pam Abdy, amongst many others, for the undertaking we seek to uplift and transfigure with this film.”
Chinonye Chukwu (Clemency) is the director and screenwriter for the project that is based on a previous draft by Keith Beauchamp; producer for Till and director behind the 2005 award-winning documentary, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till. Joining Goldberg and Beauchamp as producers are Barbara Broccoli, Thomas K. Levine, Michael JP Reilly, and Frederick Zollo.