Jay Z and the Weinstein Company are teaming up for a six-part docuseries centered on Kalief Browder, a young student who spent three years at Rikers Island without conviction. The series, entitled Time: The Kalief Browder Story, takes a detailed look at the nation's broke criminal justice system and is set to debut on Spike in January.
"Kalief Browder is a modern-day prophet; his story a failure of the judicial process," Jay Z said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter Thursday. "A young man, and I emphasize young man, who lost his life because of a broken system." Browder's tragedy, Jay added, "brought atrocities to light" and should inspire those in positions of power to do all they can to give other young men a "chance at justice."
Time will consist of archival footage, recreations of central events, and first-person accounts from those connected to Browder's story. Jenner Furst, whose name you might recognize from CNN's 2014 docuseries Chicagoland, is set to direct all six episodes. Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein will executive produce the series alongside David Glassier, Nick Sandow, Julia Willoughby Nason, and Michael Gasparro.
Browder, who was 16 years old when he was arrested on his way home from a party for allegedly stealing a backpack, spent two of his three years at Rikers in solitary confinement. Though the charges were eventually dropped and Browder was released, he later committed suicide.
The Time announcement comes one week after the Hollywood Reporterrevealed that Jay had inked a two-year overall deal with the Weinstein Company to include both film and TV projects. Multiple projects were reported as "in development" at the time of the deal, including both scripted and unscripted content.
At a press conference hosted by MTV Thursday, Jay also revealed he and Weinstein were working on a Richard Pryor biopic entitled Richard Pryor: Is It Something I Said. Lee Daniels has returned to helm the long-rumored project, which stars Mike Epps as Pryor and Oprah Winfrey as Pryor's grandmother. According toVulture, Kate Hudson will star as Jennifer Lee Pryor.
Additional Jay x Weinstein collabs are expected to be announced soon.