Shawn "Jay Z" Carter and Harvey Weinstein
Soon after inking a two-year production deal with The Weinstein Company (TWC) last fall, that will give TWC an exclusive first-look at any film or television projects he produces, Jay Z set the first project that would fall under the new agreement - the docu-series “TIME: The Kalief Browder Story,” which centers on the tragic tale of Kalief Browder, the Bronx high school student who killed himself in 2015 after being held for three years on Rikers Island for allegedly stealing a backpack.
“Time: The Kalief Browder Story" aired as a 6-part series on Spike TV, after launching on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 (10:00-11:00pm ET/PT). The episodes feature dramatic reenactments of the young man's life, archival footage, as well as interviews with family and friends.
For the second project under their first-look deal, which was announced 2 weeks ago, Jay Z and TWC are teaming up to bring to the screen another tragic tale with a young black male at the center: Trayvon Martin.
The pair has optioned the screen rights to 2 books: “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” by Lisa Bloom; and “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin,” by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.
TWC and Jay Z will turn both books into 2 separate projects: the first, a 6-part docu-series like they did with Kalief Browder's story, which has been picked up by the Paramount Network (the name of the retooled/revamped Spike TV network, which also aired the Kalief Browder story); the second, will be scripted feature film.
Announced today during National Geographic’s annual upfront presentation in New York, a 3rd collaboration between Jay Z and TWC has been picked up by the National Geographic Channel - a 6-episode documentary series with the working title "Race," which will provide “a stark and provocative look into systemic injustices in America.”
The series will combine documentary, animation and archival footage as it digs into its subject matter, capturing stories of a diverse mix of people from all walks of life, in cities across America.
No ETA at this time.
“Race” will be produced by The Weinstein Company for National Geographic. Harvey Weinstein, David Glasser and Patrick Reardon will executive produce for The Weinstein Company. Jay Z is also an executive producer.