Back in 2016, JAY-Z signed a development deal with film studio The Weinstein Company. The deal aimed to generate movies as well as both scripted and unscripted (read: reality programming) TV shows. It produced an acclaimed mini-series, TIME: The Kalief Browder Story, and had begun work on both a biographical film on the life and times of Richard Pryor and the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway play In The Heights.
But then… Harvey Weinstein. A simple Google will suffice, for those who somehow don’t know the details.
Anyways, one of the other productions Jay’s company was working on was an “ambitious series of film and television projects” based on the life of slain teenager Trayvon Martin, as they had acquired the rights to a pair of 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. Paramount Network (formerly, Spike TV) will soon debut one of those projects based on the latter book, Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, with Jay serving as executive producer.
“The six-part non-scripted documentary series will be the definitive look at one of the most talked-about and controversial events in the last decade that spurred the impactful worldwide ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement,” Paramount says in a press release. “Martin was an unarmed 17-year old high school student shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman, in the Florida community where they both lived. Zimmerman was acquitted on a second-degree murder charge after claiming he shot Martin in self-defense, sparking protests and outrage worldwide. The series delves deep into the heart of the story which is more than a tragic narrative about a young man’s life cut short – it’s a story about race, politics, power, money, and the criminal justice system.”
Slated to debut in July 2018, a brief teaser trailer has been released.