Emmett Till biopic movie trailer stars Whoopi Goldberg | EW.com – Entertainment Weekly News

Emmett Till's tragic story is headed to the big screen in an unexpected way, as seen in the debut trailer for director Chinonye Chukwu's upcoming biopic Till, due this October. The film takes Till's lynching murder in 1955 Mississippi — one of the most horrifying episodes of the Jim Crow-era South — and grounds it in moments of love and community.
"I knew that the way that I needed to tell this story was through the emotional journey of Mamie," Chukwu said at a Thursday press conference for Till, which unfolds through the eyes of the 14-year-old victim's mother, Mamie Till Mobley, played by Danielle Deadwyler. "We've got to keep it focused on Mamie and her relationship with Emmett. Once everybody was on board, I started a very intense research journey."
That multi-year research brought the Clemency filmmaker in close contact with Till's producer-star Whoopi Goldberg, as well as the subject's surviving family members. Chukwu says the family gave their blessing to the non-traditional approach, which does "not just show the inherent sadness and pain," but also the "joy and love that is really at the root of the narrative." Chukwu says that, through her interviews with the family, she discovered that Emmett Till was a "jokester," and that it was "important that we see, feel, and hear him be a boy before what would inevitably happen to him."
The director also said it was vital to not "re-traumatize audiences or myself" in re-visiting the horrors of Till's story, and that she had on-set therapists available to cast members when they needed mental health breaks. While Till amplifies unlikely moments of "levity" and "community," Chukwu says she didn't shy away from the violence, grief, and resulting "anger and sadness" that permeated the case.
Chukwu's unique vision comes through in the trailer, which shows Till Mobley interacting with her son during his life, as well as tending to his legacy after his death, speaking in court and at rallies to demand the prosecution of Emmett's murderers.
"The lynching of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all," Deadwyler says in the trailer, channeling a near-direct quote spoken by Till Mobley after her son was killed.
Till releases to select theaters on Oct. 14, followed by a nationwide release on Oct. 28. Watch the film's first trailer above.
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