JAY-Z is set to produce a film adaptation of Dwayne Alexander Smith’s 2014 novel Forty Acres for Netflix.
According to Deadline, the movie will follow a civil rights attorney fighting for survival when he’s invited to join an elite Black organization with a mind-blowing secret. The thriller is described as a cross between Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Tom Cruise’s 1993 movie The Firm.
Luke Cage creator Cheo Hodari Coker is on board as a writer, with Hov joined by James Lassiter, Aaron Kaplan, Niles Kirchner and Bill Strauss as producers. The author, Dwayne Alexander Smith, will also executive produce the film with Mike Epps and Dana Honor.
JAY-Z and Lassiter recently collaborated as producers for another Netflix movie The Harder They Fall, starring Idris Elba, Zazie Beetz, Lakeith Stanfield and Regina King about a man who reunites his old gang for revenge against the man who killed his parents. Lassiter is known for his longtime partnership with Will Smith and producing a number of major features including I, Robot, The Pursuit of Happyness, I Am Legend and Seven Pounds.
Hov is also executive producing a six-episode limited series for ABC. Women of the Movement follows the story of Mamie Till Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till who devoted her life to seeking justice for her son following his 1955 killing in the Jim Crow South. Will Smith is attached as a producer along with Kaplan and Honor.
ABC is developing ‘WOMEN OF THE MOVEMENT’ which focuses on female figures in the Civil Rights Movement starting with Mamie Till Mobley
The series is written by Marissa Jo Cerar, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood & produced by Jay-Z & Will Smith
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) August 28, 2020
In other business moves, JAY-Z was recently named Chief Visionary Officer of cannabis companies Caliva and Left Coast Ventures, and plans to work on a criminal justice reform initiative with them.
“Although we know we can’t fully redeem the injustices created by the ‘war on drugs’, we can help shape a brighter and inclusive future,” he said. “The brands we build will pave a new path forward for a legacy rooted in equity, access, and justice. We’re creating something people can trust and we’re investing in our future, our people, and our communities.”