Rapper and producer Jay Z has partnered with the Weinstein Company to produce a feature film and documentary series about Trayvon Martin, the unarmed African American teenager killed by George Zimmerman in 2012.
The production will be based on two books: Suspicion Nation by Lisa Bloom, published by Counterpoint Press, and Rest in Power by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, published by Jacaranda Books in the UK and Spiegel & Grau in the US.
The rights for the two books were acquired after “a heated bidding war”, with Jay Z and The Weinstein Company fighting off competition from Fox Searchlight, Universal on behalf of Will Packer, and Ted Field, amongst other studios, according to Variety.
Rest in Power is the "heartfelt" memoir by Trayvon’s parents, which tells their first hand account of the events that followed the death of their son, from the media campaigns to the fight in the courtroom. It was published in February. The case gathered international recognition in the press and across social media and opened up a global conversation on racial profiling and the justice system, giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Suspicion Nation is by legal analyst Bloom and recounts her experience covering the trial for NBC. She looks at the mistakes made by prosecutors that caused them to lose what she describes as a “winnable case”.
The Weinstein Company intends to make a six-part docu-series with Jay Z producing. The studio will also develop a narrative feature film.
A spokesperson from Jacaranda Books said: “The interest of major icons like Jay Z in Trayvon Martin’s story is a sign of the immense impact it has had on society in recent years. We published Rest in Power to give the parents an opportunity to tell their story to a UK audience. We believe Jay Z and the Weinstein Company will do justice to this important story.”