Steven Caple Jr. Tapped To Write HBO Miniseries About Emmett Till


Caple, directing the music video to Ezzy's "Goodbye," from The Land soundtrack. - PHOTO BY KEN BLAZE
  • Photo by Ken Blaze
  • Caple, directing the music video to Ezzy's "Goodbye," from The Land soundtrack.
Steven Caple Jr. knew this would happen. When a young black writer-director makes waves on the festival circuit, as Caple did with his debut feature, The Land, the offers start rolling in.

There had been rumors of Caple being presented with opportunities to helm a couple major Hollywood blockbusters, but Caple told Scene that he's being selective about his next projects. He's still intent on honing his voice as a filmmaker before he becomes beholden to franchises.

But the latest announcement — from Deadline — certifies Caple's big-league cred. He has been hired as the writer of an HBO miniseries about Emmett Till, the 14-year-old black boy brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for flirting with a white girl. Till's murder is considered an important landmark in the mobilizing of the Civil Rights movement, as it demonstrated the depravity of violence against blacks in America. 

The miniseries is being produced by a roster of glitzy A-listers: Will Smith, Jay-Z, Casey Affleck, Aaron Kaplan. The script will be based on source material from Devery Anderson's book, Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked The World And Propelled The Civil Rights Movement.

Caple told Scene in an interview earlier this summer that he's been a die-hard Will Smith fan since his youth, so the opportunity to collaborate with Smith, for HBO, is not only an enormous step for Cleveland's native son, but the fulfillment of a childhood fantasy. 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.