A new film detailing the events that led up to Emmett Till’s death is slated to hit theaters this fall. The trailer was released yesterday (July 25), on what would have been his 81st birthday. At just 14 years old, in 1955, Till was brutally killed as he visited family in Mississippi. While in a small Southern town, the boy was accused of flirting with a white store clerk, leading to his kidnapping and murder.
The film, titled Till, will also show Mamie Till’s fight for justice after her son’s death. Danielle Deadwyler (The Harder They Fall) will take on the role of the matriarch, while Jalyn Hall will play her son Emmett. Award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg will also star in and produce the movie. The two-minute and 35-second trailer was released by MGM Studios yesterday. In it, Mamie expresses her worry before her only child leaves their Chicago home for the summer. “He doesn’t understand how different things are in Mississippi,” she says. Last week (July 21), the film’s director Chinonye Chukwu spoke at a press conference where he praised Mamie for continuing to keep her son’s legacy alive.
“I knew that the way that I needed to tell this story was through the emotional journey of Mamie,” Chukwu said. “We’ve got to keep it focused on Mamie and her relationship with Emmett,” he added, according to Entertainment Weekly. The director also noted he didn’t want to “re-traumatize audiences or [himself]” by making the project. Chukwu shared that there were therapists on set for cast and crew members. Deadwyler said she was originally hesitant to portray Mamie. “I’ve been a load-carrier for a long time,” she shared during the conference. “And Mamie Till Mobley is a pure example of a Black woman carrying that invisible load we always carry,” she continued.
Surviving members of the Till family were also hands-on during the project. Chukwu felt it was “important that we see, feel, and hear him be a boy before what would inevitably happen to him.” Till lands in select theaters on Oct. 14 and will be released nationwide on Oct. 28. Check out the trailer below.
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