Jay Z’s film and TV efforts continue the political trend with a documentary series and feature film about Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen whose murder gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jay Z and film studio The Weinstein Company nabbed the rights to two books about Martin after an intense bidding war, according to Variety. “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” and “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin” are two books that will be used as the focus of the big- and small-screen projects.
“Suspicion Nation” chronicles NBC News reporter Lisa Bloom’s experience covering the trial she says led prosecutors to lose a “winnable case.” In the 2013 trial, ex-neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was found not guilty of fatally shooting the unarmed 17-year-old. “Rest in Power” was written by Trayvon’s parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, about their son’s life.
Jay Z will produce a six-part docu-series with TWC, which also will produce “a narrative feature film.” A release date has not been announced for either effort, but TWC confirmed the deal with no comment to Variety. Jay Z has not publicly spoken about the deal that closed last week but the showbiz website reported TWC’s Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser met with Jay Z and Martin’s parents in February, who noted they were “most concerned with seeing their son’s life and legacy honored.”
The projects are the latest in a line of TV efforts Jay Z has put in development as part of the production deal he landed with TWC in September. “Time: The Kalief Browder Story,” is a six-part docu-series currently airing on Spike examining the way the criminal justice system failed now-deceased Browder. Jay Z also is creating a mini-series about the first Black U.S. Army sniper, Nicholas Irving, that will star Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown.