Dramatizing a tragedy like Trayvon Martin’s 2012 murder at the hands of George Zimmerman could prove tricky, especially when it comes to striking the right balance between exploration and exploitation. But if there’s anyone equipped to help tell Martin’s story, it’s Jay Z, who’s been a passionate and visible voice in the fight against inequality.
The rapper will get that chance after striking a deal with Weinstein Company to produce both a feature film and a docu-series based on Martin’s life, his death, and the aftermath, including Zimmerman’s trial and the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The partnership comes after Hov bought the rights to two books, one being Suspicion Nation, by lawyer Lisa Bloom, and the other called Rest in Power, written by Martin’s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. Both books will serve as the basis for the projects, though its unclear which will be the docu-series and which will be the feature film.
If we had to guess, Rest in Power will likely get the feature film treatment, and tell a sympathetic story of a 17-year-old boy who was gunned down in cold blood. Think something along the lines of Fruitvale Station.
Suspicion Nation—which chronicles Zimmerman’s trial and acquittal—is perfect fodder for a six part true crime docu-series that will be an in-depth examination of the failures of the legal system and the institutional racism that exists within it.
Look for both projects some time next year.