Barbara Broccoli has said Hollywood ‘wasn’t interested’ in bringing the true story of Emmett Till’s brutal murder to screen for almost two decades.

The Bond producer, 62, said it has taken 18 years to bring the 14-year-old’s story to the big screen as she discussed her new movie Till, set for release this month.

Black teenager Emmett was brutally abducted, tortured and killed while he was visiting family in Mississippi in 1955 after witnesses said he whistled and grabbed Carolyn Bryant Donham, a white woman.

Biopic: Barbara Broccoli has said Hollywood 'wasn't interested' in bringing the true story of Emmett Till's brutal murder to screen for almost two decades

Biopic: Barbara Broccoli has said Hollywood ‘wasn’t interested’ in bringing the true story of Emmett Till’s brutal murder to screen for almost two decades

The lynching became known nationwide after his devastated mother Mamie Bradley insisted on an open casket funeral in Chicago to show his tortured body and shed light on violence inflicted on black people in the south.

The case galvanised the Civil Rights Movement but Barbara has admitted that her attempts to make Emmett’s story into a movie were met with resistance for 18 years.

She told The Guardian‘They were saying: “Why would you want to tell this story, it’s depressing?”, people don’t want to talk about this history. They just weren’t interested, they didn’t think it was worth making.’

True story: The Bond producer, 62, said it has taken 18 years to bring the 14-year-old's story to the big screen as she discussed her new movie Till, starring Jalyn Hall

True story: The Bond producer, 62, said it has taken 18 years to bring the 14-year-old’s story to the big screen as she discussed her new movie Till, starring Jalyn Hall

However, Barbara has finally brought the true story of Emmett’s mother’s relentless pursuit for justice to the big screen, with the help of MGM’s Orion Pictures, who she said didn’t insist they needed a ‘big star name’ for the project.

Tragic: Emmett was killed in Mississippi in 1955 after witnesses said he grabbed Carolyn Bryant Donham, a white woman

Tragic: Emmett was killed in Mississippi in 1955 after witnesses said he grabbed Carolyn Bryant Donham, a white woman

The biopic, titled Till, stars Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till-Mobley, while Jalyn Hall portrays teenager Emmett. The film also stars Whoopi Goldberg as Alma Carthan, Emmett’s grandmother.

Barbara said of the movie: ‘I believe that this film will make a big difference to people who see it, anything that promotes empathy or a deeper understanding is vitally important and cinema has the power to open people’s minds.’ 

Speaking of making the biopic, Barbara went on to say that the ‘horrible tragedy’ of George Floyd’s death in 2020 made the telling of Emmett’s story ‘even more urgent’.

George was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, who knelt on his neck for nine minutes in May 2020, sparking global protests over racial injustice. Derek Chauvin was later convicted for his murder.

Barbara went on to say that she became involved with Till after being approached by filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, who had made documentary The Untold Story about Emmett.

Stars: The biopic, titled Till, stars Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till-Mobley, while Jalyn Hall portrays teenager Emmett

Stars: The biopic, titled Till, stars Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till-Mobley, while Jalyn Hall portrays teenager Emmett

Impressive: Danielle, who stars as Mamie, has already won awards for her performance at the Gotham awards, Philadelphia Film Festival and the Santa Barbara Film Festival

Impressive: Danielle, who stars as Mamie, has already won awards for her performance at the Gotham awards, Philadelphia Film Festival and the Santa Barbara Film Festival

New movie Till focuses on Emmett’s mother Mamie’s journey as a civil rights advocate following the brutal killing of her teenage son.

Danielle, who stars as Mamie, has already won awards for her performance at the Gotham awards, Philadelphia Film Festival and the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Emmett was brutally killed while he was visiting family in Mississippi in 1955 after witnesses said he whistled and grabbed white woman Carolyn Bryant Donham.  

The two men brutally beat the teenager before dragging him to the bank of the Tallahatchie River, where they shot him in the head and dropped his body into the water.

The 14-year-old(pictured) was abducted, tortured and killed after witnesses said he whistled and grabbed white woman Carolyn Bryant Donham as she worked in a local store

The 14-year-old(pictured) was abducted, tortured and killed after witnesses said he whistled and grabbed white woman Carolyn Bryant Donham as she worked in a local store

Days after the brutal murder, Emmett’s body was pulled from the river, where it had been tossed after being weighted down with a cotton gin fan.

His mother’s insistence on an open funeral casket to show the world the horrors of what had been done to her child became a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights era.

Following weeks of outrage, Carolyn’s husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam were acquitted by an all-white Mississippi jury. Months later, they confessed in a paid magazine interview.

Emmett’s family have still never seen any convictions for the crime, while Bryant and Milam, who are now both dead, were not brought to trial again. 

How Emmett Till’s brutal torture and killing in 1955 became a turning point in the US Civil Rights movement 

Emmett Till’s fateful visit to family in Mississippi in 1955 became one of the horrifying lynchings that galvanized the civil rights movement.

The trip quickly turned to tragedy after the 14-year-old was abducted, tortured and killed after witnesses said he whistled and grabbed white woman Carolyn Bryant Donham as she worked in a local store.

Days after the accusations, on August 28, 1995, Till was at home with his cousin when two white men, Carolyn’s husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam, stormed in and dragged Till out of the home.

Emmett Till's (pictured) fateful visit to family in Mississippi in 1955 became one of the horrifying lynchings that galvanized the civil rights movement

Emmett Till’s (pictured) fateful visit to family in Mississippi in 1955 became one of the horrifying lynchings that galvanized the civil rights movement

The two men brutally beat the teenager before dragging him to the bank of the Tallahatchie River, where they shot him in the head and dropped his body into the water. 

Days after the brutal murder, Till’s body was pulled from the river, where it had been tossed after being weighted down with a cotton gin fan.

The lynching became known nationwide after Till’s devastated mother Mamie Bradley insisted on an open casket funeral in Chicago to show his tortured body and shed light on violence inflicted on black people in the south.

Thousands of people flocked to the Roberts Temple Church of God to see evidence of the hate crime, with Till’s mother making the brave move as she felt the world needed to know what happened.

As the murder gained more attention, two publications published graphic images of Till’s corpse, leading to the teenager’s death being nationally condemned.

Following weeks of outrage, Bryant and Milam were acquitted by an all-white Mississippi jury. Months later, they confessed in a paid magazine interview.

Till’s lynching became a pivotal point in the civil rights movement and people kept campaigning for justice for Till decades later.

In 2017, a book quoted Donham, now in her 80s, as saying she lied when she claimed that Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances while she was working in a store.

The killing galvanized the civil rights movement after Till's mother (pictured with her son) insisted on an open casket to show his tortured body

The killing galvanized the civil rights movement after Till’s mother (pictured with her son) insisted on an open casket to show his tortured body

The shocking claims prompted the Justice Department to reopen the investigation. The FBI were unable to prove her alleged lies, but issued a rebuke to the validity of Donham’s testimony after a probe was closed in December.

After the allegations of Donham’s lies, she told the FBI that she had never recanted her accusations while relatives also denied the accusations.

At the time, officials said historian Timothy B. Tyson, the author of 2017’s ‘The Blood of Emmett Till,’ was unable to produce any recordings or transcripts in which Donham allegedly admitted to lying about her encounter with the teen.

Till’s family have still never seen any convictions for the crime, while Bryant and Milam, who are now both dead, were not brought to trial again. 



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