Roger Ebert’s Widow Chaz Ebert to Produce Emmett Till Biopic

The film will be based on the book “Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America”

Last Updated: May 15, 2015 @ 9:30 AM

Shatterglass Films and Chaz Ebert, widow of the late film critic Roger Ebert, announced Friday that they will produce a biopic based on the life of Emmett Till.

Till was a 14 year-old boy who was visiting relatives in the Mississippi Delta in 1955 when he was kidnapped and murdered by two white men after reportedly whistling at a white woman.

Till’s murder, which was the focus of international press coverage, inspired Americans in their quest for justice and equality, and galvanized the Civil Rights Movement that ultimately led to federal legislation, as well as extensive legal and social progress.

The film will be based on the book “Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America.” The book was co-written by Till’s mother, the late Mamie Till-Mobley and award-winning journalist Christopher Benson. It was nominated for a 2004 Pulitzer Prize and won a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Special Recognition that year.

Luke Boyce, Brett Hays and Jen Shelby are producing the film for Shatterglass Films, and Christopher Benson is also producing. Ebert and Nate Kohn are executive producing.

“The full Emmett Till story needs to be told now and told well as a narrative for our times, given all that is happening on American streets today and Shatterglass Films are the people to tell it,” Ebert said.

Principal photography will be completed in Chicago, the Mississippi Delta and Central Illinois in 2016.