The movie will be based on the book Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America, which was written by Till's mother Mamie Till-Mobley and award-winning journalist Christopher Benson.

The African-American teenager was murdered in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

Ebert says, "The full Emmett Till story needs to be told now and told well as a narrative for our times, given all that is happening on American streets today..."

The project will be shot Chicago, the Mississippi Delta and Central Illinois next year (16).