Variety reported the Academy award-winning talent will lead the movie Till alongside The Haves and the Have Nots actress Danielle Deadwyler, who will also appear in the historically based movie. Deadwyler will play Till-Mobley herself while Goldberg is set to portray Till’s grandmother, Alma Carthan.
The film will focus on Mobley-Till’s journey following the violent death of her 14-year-old son in 1955 Mississippi when the Chicago teen was visiting family for the summer. Till was kidnapped from his family’s home, beaten, mutilated, shot in the head, and then his body was dumped in the Tallahatchie River by Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam. The former’s wife, 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, accused Till of flirting with her at a local grocery store.
Till uncovers Mobley-Till’s decision to allow Jet Magazine to publish David Jackson’s photos from the funeral, in which the defiant mother insisted on an open casket service despite her son’s shocking appearance. The haunting images forced the world to see the brutality committed against the teen and helped spark the Civil Rights Movement.
Principal photography on the movie is set to begin in September in Atlanta. Nigerian filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu serves as the writer/director with a producing team composed of Keith Beauchamp, Barbara Broccoli, Thomas K. Levine, Michael J P Reilly, and Frederick Zollo.
According to the report, Chukwu wrote the screenplay based on a previous draft by Beauchamp, based in part on the original research for his award-winning 2005 documentary Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till.
“We have waited a very long time to bring this historically necessary important film to people,” said Goldberg. “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.”
“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,” shared Deadwyler, adding, “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.”
In January 2017, VIBE reported the woman, now Carolyn Bryant Donham, who claimed Till displayed inappropriate behavior towards her, causing his death, lied about the entire ordeal. Timothy Tyson, a senior research scholar from Duke University, wrote in his book, The Blood Of Emmett Till, Donham revealed the teenager did not make any verbal or physical advances at her and that she did not remember what else happened that night at the country store in Mississippi.
As of early this month, according to the Clarion-Ledger, the Justice Department is continuing its investigation into Till’s killing. A report released by the DOJ in June listed civil rights cold cases that were closed because witnesses or suspects have died, leads went nowhere, or cases were too old. Of the three listed inquiries, Till’s was excluded.
“That’s all we know, that it’s still open,” family member Marvel Parker said to the news outlet. Her husband, Wheeler Parker, was with Till the night he was taken from a family home at gunpoint.
Ollie Gordon, a cousin of Till added, “As long as Carolyn Bryant is still breathing we want justice.”