Rap mogul-turned-Hollywood film producer Jay Z is gearing up to produce a series of film and TV projects about the life and death of Trayvon Martin.
According to Variety, Jay Z — real name Shawn Carter — and The Weinstein Company have acquired the rights to two books, 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, which will be used as the source material for the forthcoming on-screen adaptations.
Suspicion Nation is written by civil rights attorney Lisa Bloom and details her experience covering Zimmerman’s trial for NBC. Rest in Power was authored by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin and offers an intimate look into his life and the impact of his death.
In February 2012, 17-year-old Martin was visiting his father in Sanford, Florida when he got into a physical altercation with self-described neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. Zimmerman pursued Martin, against the warnings of a 911 operator, shot and killed the Florida teen in what a court later agreed was an act of self-defense.
Martin’s death, however, set off a national firestorm of protests and wall-to-wall media attention and helped spark the Black Lives Matter movement. At the center of the furor was Jay Z. In July 2013, for example, the rapper and his superstar singer wife Beyoncé joined the Rev. Al Sharpton at a “Justice For Trayvon” rally in Manhattan, New York.
— #GreenToday (@IamEkomy) July 20, 2013
Production for the projects, Variety reports, will likely see Jay Z producing a six-part docu-series. The Weinstein Company will reportedly develop a feature film focused on Martin’s life and death.
The Trayvon Martin projects are the latests deals to move forward as part of the two-year deal Jay Z struck last September with The New York City-based production company.