Jay Z, Weinstein Company to Make Trayvon Martin Film and Documentary Series (EXCLUSIVE)

Trayvon Martin movie documentary series
Brian Blanco/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and the Weinstein Company are partnering on an ambitious series of film and television projects about Trayvon Martin, Variety has learned.

The indie label and the rap icon won a heated bidding war for the rights to two 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.” The 2012 shooting of the 17-year-old Martin sparked a national debate about racial profiling and inequities of the criminal justice system that brought about the Black Lives Matter movement. The African-American high school student was killed by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed race Hispanic man, who was a member of the neighborhood watch in his Florida community. He claimed he shot Martin, who was unarmed, in self defense after the two became involved in a physical altercation. Zimmerman’s acquittal on a second-degree murder charge inspired protests around the country.


Jay Z Harvey Weinstein

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“Suspicion Nation” is by Lisa 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.” “Rest in Power” is by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. It tells a more personal story, looking at Martin’s childhood and the aftermath of his death.

The plan is to make a six-part docu-series with Jay Z producing as part of a first-look deal he signed with the studio last September. The indie studio will also develop a narrative feature film. The Weinstein Company earned critical raves for “Fruitvale Station,” another true story, about the death of Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man who was killed in 2009 by a BART police officer.

The Weinstein Company confirmed the deal, but declined to offer comment.

There were several other studios interested in the project, including Fox Searchlight, Universal on behalf of Will Packer, and Ted Field. The Weinstein Company closed the deal last week. TWC honchos Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser had a marathon meeting on Oscar weekend in their Los Angeles office with Jay Z and Martin’s parents. They made it clear that they were most concerned with seeing their son’s life and legacy honored.

The authors were represented by Jan Miller and Lacy Lynch of Dupree Miller & Associates. Glasser, Weinstein, and Jay Z brokered the deal for the company.

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  1. Nick Jones says:

    More biased media coverage about a thug who died being a thug.

    • ZyAria N Gary says:

      How do you eve know if he was a thug?? Did you know him personally?? EXACTLYY!! You’re just judging him by his looks and his skin color. You don’t know what really happened. You wasn’t there February 26,2012 at 7:16 when the shot was fired. So I suggest you keep your ignorant comments to yourself if you don’t know what happen, because you’re not God and he’s the only one who knows the truth.

      • salsassin says:

        As far as what happened, what I do know. Martin was first spotted near 1460 Rearview Cir, which was not on the route to his house. That Martin ran all the way to the back of the house he was staying, that Zimmerman had lost sight of him and spoke with the dispatcher for 4 minutes, yet in all that time, Martin did not go into the house and instead returned to the intersection 70 yards away where he would confront (both Zimmerman and Jeantel agree he spoke first), punch (Jeantel has stated she believes Martin threw the first punch), and mount and beat Zimmerman (testimony of John Good). That is enough for me to deduce that Martin was the aggressor. If he was afraid, he would have not returned to the intersection and he would have told Chad when he talked to him.

      • salsassin says:

        Thug is a loaded word. What I do know is that Martin was suspended three times. In the documentation we see that he had stolen property and an industrial screw driver. From his phone and social media we know that he was suspended once for fighting, he liked making people bleed in fights, he liked doing and selling drugs, that he struck a bus driver, that he attempted to purchase an illegal gun twice. That his mother kicked him out if the house for fighting. All this within months of the Martin-Zimmerman encounter. That, to me, tells me that someone was going down the wrong path and was not averse to breaking the law.

  2. salsassin says:

    Read both books. Both are cases of Historical fiction for political agendas where proven facts are ignored and alternative facts are rampant. The movie versions should be no different.

  3. Krissy says:

    Let’s see if they actually tell the truth. Especially the fact that Trayvon got to his dads house after the first interaction then told his dad he’d be right back and went back after George by hiding in a bush and jumping out and beating him. If he didn’t go back out looking for George, he’d be alive. George only pursued him because of the recent break ins and its mad suspicious when you see a kid jumping the gate of the gated community. Yes, George should’ve listened to the dispatch in the first place but that’s not what got Trayvon killed. George was walking back when Trayvon went back out after him. He got himself killed.

  4. Chris says:

    So the movie is about a teen who attacked a man and got himself shot? Is it going to be 10 minutes long?

  5. Drew says:

    A documentary is supposed to an honest and objective account of a historical event. Does any objective person believe that JZ, given has cozy relationship with Eric Holder and Barrack Obama can be “objective” about Trevon? Remember the hysteria. Before any facts were known, Al Sharpton and crew, Obama and Eric Holder were already editorializing. That Florida Congresswoman, Frederica Wilson who wore the pink cowgirl outfit and hat, tell us that “Trevon was hunted done like an animal and shot” How could she possibly know what really happened. My point being she, and so many others, pre-judged and pre-tried the case and cannot be convinced of any other explanation. I don’t know what really happened, and either does JZ, but I fear the power he has over millions of African American’s–and for what. He’s not Dr King, he’s was rap artist and now producer, making multi-millions selling anything that makes him money. I pray that his goal is to create a climate of reconciliation, love and grace. Then history would remember him as a truly great man.

    • Guillermo says:

      “They made it clear that they were most concerned with seeing their son’s life and legacy honored.”

      There is no mention of George Zimmerman signing off on the project. So no. It will be clearly biased.

  6. Val says:

    All these backwoods white trash KKK’s on this Post! KKK hoe down! Bring out the tobacco Ma!

  7. hank says:

    (Pretty sure this one will be moderated out – but here goes anyway)

    Is anyone willing to bet that Jay Z will film the part, where Trayvon beat up the bus driver because the driver told him he had to pay to ride like everyone else?

    Didn’t think so.

    • LaQuavious Jackson says:

      They won’t include that because it’s not relevant to the story. They will show Trayvon as the innocent, doe-eyed angel that he was, peacefully walking home after a long day of filling out college applications and spreading the word of Jesus Christ, when he was viciously attacked by the known white supremacist, blonde haired, blue eyed white man George Zimmerman who has ties to the KKK and various neo nazi organizations. George proceeded to gun down the disenfranchised youth with a fully automatic assault rifle while shouting racial slurs at the top of his lungs. Then he used his massive fortune he stole from our African American brothers and sisters with his white privilege to pay off the already racist jury and judge to acquit him.

      That’s exactly how it happened and exactly how it must be portrayed in the movie. Any deviation from the official story would be a gratuitous act of racism.

  8. Lisa says:

    Two of the most disgusting people in the business. Surely, the story could be told with someone with more honour than those two creepos.

  9. rb44 says:

    Anyone listen to the trial? Local prosecutors did not want to charge him. Zimmerman was getting his skull bashed against the pavement and had a concussion. Before losing consciousness, he drew his pistol and shot Trayvon. ONCE! Then re-holstered his gun. Nobody would ever do that! He had no malice at all toward this kid and grew up with mixed-race family members and community. Then Obama and Co. got involved and the media twisted this into a race issue! It never was. Zimmerman even reenacted the incident so cops could videotape him, and that was later used against him in court! If you are ever involved in a self-defense shooting, never talk to the cops without an attorney. Trayvon was a little street punk and he received street justice. Don’t turn everything into a race issue if you want to be treated as an equal.

  10. pteronarcyid says:

    Pathetic attempt to celebrate a criminal loser, Trayvon, who was stupid enough to use his fists to assault and batter a man lawfully carrying a sidearm.

  11. Frank Gerhy says:

    Stop showing Martin as a child! Why not show Zimmerman as a child?

  12. Paul Kersey says:

    HILARIOUS ! ! ! Nice Comment !

  13. Paul Kersey says:

    I wonder if they’re going to include the audio that NBC broadcast where they edited out Zimmermans statements about the thug.

  14. Jon says:

    LOL, we all know how it ends. The wannabe tough guy dies.

  15. Frank Shwartz says:

    i predict a $10,000 box office take

  16. Jim Lawrence says:

    Denzel Washington as Trayvon Martin and Danny Devito as George Zimmerman

  17. Nunya says:

    Even 5 years later we get the photo of Trayvon as a 12 a year old at the top of the article.

  18. Mitch Rapp says:

    So another work of fiction along the lines of Star Wars and Beauty and the Beast.

  19. c p says:

    Where are they going to get a “White-Hispanic” to play Zimmerman?

  20. Dudefromdixie says:

    I predict a major flop and some lawsuits from George Zimmerman. We know how this turned out and the brothers didn’t like it so no doubt the facts will be distorted.

  21. Joe says:

    Here comes a complete work of fiction and poor Trayvon, he was set to be the new Nikola Tesla had he not been shot. More garbage coming from the Left.

  22. eric says:

    Outside of “punk beats on neighborhood patrol volunteer who promptly plugs punk.” I guess they will have to emphasize the skittles angle a lot deeper.

  23. Keith Stanton says:

    “MOVIE” ? ? ?
    How about a ’15 second commercial’ ?
    “Section #8 welfare leech, hops fence onto private property ‘;gated community’,
    assaults security guard, tries to steal guards gun, gets shot” !

  24. Barfco says:

    You can always tell when Drudge links to an article. Why? It brings all the racists and coocks out of the woodwork and into plain view where everyone can see them for what they are. To talk about George Zimmerman like he’s some kind of hero. He’s not. Just look at all the problems he’s had with girlfriends who describe him as mentally unhinged. Take away the gun, like anyone who uses them, and you get nothing but a scared little punk. Drudgetards feel more empowered when they gather all in one place and rant their garbage. Need evidence? See practically any comment below!!

  25. Eric says:

    Gee……..I wonder who the movie is going to favor. Well, we already all know the ending to this one.

  26. jdlredskin says:

    This will definitely be a Hollywood fairy tale with these 2 left wing lunatics making the movie. The only truth will be the names used. The rest will be complete fake news made up nonsense.

  27. hollymolley says:

    We will get to see a modern day business man, gathering the ingredients necessary for the manufacture of his product. In this case it’s a drug dealer producing ” LEAN ” ” Reap what you sew “

  28. Allie says:

    More racist BS from Hollywood. No one will pay to see it.

    • Jim Lawrence says:

      I was thinking that Trayvon’s great grandmother could have been another victim as she heroically threw herself between her boy and Zimmerman…who should be shown wearing a hood and carrying a burning cross

    • Joe says:

      Spot on. That is all they have, the race card, and that is even failing now.

  29. Joe K. says:

    Weinstein would exploit his own mother for a buck. Such total slime. Expect the truth in this movie? Good luck with that!

  30. Well only 37,685,848 12.2% black people will see it…..the other 196,817,552 63.7% could care less..

    ahahhahahaha lol

  31. James Lawson says:

    Is it going to be the truth or are they going to make Trayvon look like an angel?

  32. Mac says:

    Hmmmmm wonder if they will cover Travon’s early career as a Jewelry salesman (used wedding rings ear rings and watches) and his work as a Locksmith.

    • Jim Lawrence says:

      Trayvon will be dressed in hospital scrubs where just finished donating several organs to save a group of white people

  33. Colin James III says:

    1. Is Trayvon Martin a personality worthy of movie after the racist rant of his mother’s boy friend, delivered from the the hood of car he vandalized, about burning down the town? Jay Z would never allow an allegation that Trayvon was not a gentle giant but a badly raised child and ultimately a rank thief and wicked bully on illegally obtained drugs.
    2. Who was the victim of such a rant, and are they the co-authors with Wein-spine; are the owners of businesses destroyed by the burners represented? Jay Z will never allow the founders of BLM to take responsibility for their anarchy and evil.

  34. Robert Allen says:

    Hollywood just ruined a truly inspiring tale about the black female calculators at NASA with fake scenes of discrimination that the surviving women have disavowed.

  35. Shlomo Shunn says:

    When will Weinstein do a movie on the black thugs who tortured a white special-needs kid?

    When will he do a documentary on the blacks who killed Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom?

    • Krissy says:

      Channon and Christopher’s death still breaks my heart. I can’t imagine what they went through before they were killed. It hurts just to think of it

  36. Shlomo Shunn says:

    > “The African-American high school student was killed by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed race Hispanic man, who was a member of the neighborhood watch in his Florida community.”

    CORRECTION: Gangsta-wannabe Trayvon Martin was returning from a long-walk in the rain to get fixings for his drug of choice: Purple Drank. He was returning to a relative’s home where he was staying after being suspended, yet again, from school (Police would later find burglary tools in his locker). The fit, young footballer attacked an older, overweight neighborhood watchman who’d asked who he was and where he was going (nearby houses having been recently broken into). Pounding Mr. Zimmerman’s head on the parking lot asphalt, Trayvon was shot by the older male he was trying to kill.”

  37. Don Macski says:

    I’m sure we will learn he was just misunderstood. And I sure hope the movie will reveal just what we did to make him who he was.

    Its entirely possible that all he needed was a safe space.

  38. Ben says:

    Propaganda. The kid was a thug.

  39. Steve Vise says:

    Yay. Just what we need, another propaganda film that makes a street thug look like a sweet little angel.

  40. Jimbo says:

    My question is, will it include his whole life, including when he discovered the cure to cancer, started the orphanages in India, and revolutionized quantum physics, or just focus on his martyrdom and sainthood?

  41. JohnS says:

    It’s about time proper recognition be given to this Darwin Award winner who took fists to a gunfight he started himself. They should also stop showing the old pic as a 12 y/o and show his facebook pic, you know, the one he himself titled ‘No Limit N’qqa’. Save your money and don’t waste it on and product from Weinstein or his boy J-Z.

  42. K.a. Wright says:

    This will go straight to Net Flix.

  43. simon91956 says:

    Great, just what we need is another revisionist version of what went down to further inflame blacks. It starts by showing young thug Trayvon as a sweet little boy which he no longer was. It won’t change the reality that he attacked Zimmerman from behind and was smashing Zimmerman’s face into the concrete in a deadly attack. They grappled for Zimmerman’s gun and it went off and Martin got himself killed instead.

  44. letist propaganda is all lies says:

    18 yr old 6’2″ 180+ lbs attacking a 5’5″ overweight 30 yr old bc the 18 yr old is skulking around in the backyards of neighbors homes in the pouring rain in a neighborhood that had been victim to multiple burglaries in the preceding weeks. If I got attacked by a 6’2″ person who had been casing homes in the middle of the pouring rain in the dead of night I would have shot as well, but much, MUCH sooner.

    BTW, how many burglaries have occurred in that neighborhood since ‘baby tray-tray’ was taken out?

  45. John Smith says:

    What about a movie of the hundreds murdered in Chicago since Trayvon? Mostly Black. I guess they dont count. What a F%@king joke.

  46. That explains why they are trying to get OJ Simpson out of prison. He can play the thug that got shot.

  47. hhhahaa too funny.. better show the real trayvon that was not innocent..

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