Jay Z is taking on the Trayvon Martin story.
Variety reports that Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and the Weinstein Company are developing movie and TV projects about the young man whose death prompted debate about racial profiling, social injustice and fueled the beginnings of Black Lives Matter.
The hip hop star apparently won a bidding war for rights to two books: Lisa Bloom’s “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It,” about her experience covering the trial for NBC, and the more personal “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin,” by Trayvon’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.
Martin, an African-American high school student, was 17 and unarmed in 2012 when George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old mixed race Hispanic man, shot him, claiming self defense after the two became involved in a physical altercation.
Zimmerman’s acquittal on a second-degree murder charge set off national protests.
So far, a six-part docu-series with Jay Z producing is part of the deal. Weinstein, which earned acclaim for “Fruitvale Station” — based on Oscar Grant, the unarmed Oakland black man killed by a BART police officer — also is planning a feature film.
In other Jay Z news, gossip sites note that he and his wife are allowing little Blue Ivy some time in the spotlight these days, because “the couple is attempting to create the next Beyoncé.”
JOHN MISSES KATY
John Mayer, releasing tidbits of a new album, told The New York Times that he’s been through rehab and has been dating using an exclusive match-making app,
Oh, and that his famous ex Katy Perry inspired the song “Still Feel Like Your Man.”
The U.K. Daily Mail handily reports that the 39-year-old singer’s dating history includes Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Tracey Shepos Cenami, chef at La Crema Winery in Windsor, is competing on Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” at 8 p.m. Sunday in the show’s “Supermarket Masters Tournament”; publicists tell us that host Guy Fieri calls for a fourth round for the first time in the show’s history … American Conservatory Theater announced that artistic director Carey Perloff will leave the company, after 25 years, following the close of the 2017–18 season.
Oakland Athletic J. B. Wendelken is 24. … Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes is 27. … Actress Jessica Chastain is 40. … Actress Alyson Hannigan is 43. … Actor Jim Parsons is 44. … TV personality Star Jones is 55. … Comedian Louie Anderson is 64. … Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is 66. … Singer Nick Lowe is 68. … Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is 98.
— Staff, wire reports