All My Children alum Tonya Pinkins has been tapped to co-star in the new limited series from Marissa Jo Cerar, Women of the Movement.
Deadline announced today that the Tony-winning actress will take on the role of Alma, mother to actress Adrienne Warren’s Mamie-Till Mobley, in the six-episode series set to premiere some time in 2021 on ABC. Pinkins replaces Niecy Nash, who was initially cast for the role but left due to personal reasons. Inspired by the book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement by Devery S. Anderson, Women of the Movement “centers on Mamie Till-Mobley, who devoted her life to seeking justice for her son Emmett Till. After Emmett’s murder in Mississippi, Alma, a young grandmother who had been like a second mother to Emmett, fought to protect her family in Chicago while her daughter Mamie [traveled] the country seeking justice in Emmett’s name. A force of nature, Alma was Mamie’s rock in the face of unbelievable tragedy.”
Cerar will serve as showrunner as well as executive producer, with Jay-Z, Jay Brown and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith from Roc Nation also executive producing. Will Smith and James Lassiter for Overbrook, Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor and Michael Lohmann of Kapital Entertainment and Gina Prince-Bythewood will also executive produce. Bythewood is set to direct episode one of the series, which begins filming in a quarantine bubble in Mississippi next week. Rosanna Grace with Serendipity Film Group, Alex Foster and John Powers Middleton of Middleton Media Group, and David Clark via Mazo Partners are also executive producing.
Tonya Pinkins can be seen next in the upcoming feature film Red Pill, which revolves around such themes as the weaponization of whiteness and white supremacy. Written, directed and produced by Pinkins, the film is described as “a scary wake-up call about American politics” and will premiere sometime in February.