Several Hollywood heavyweights are partnering to develop a television project based on one of the Little Rock Nine members’ experiences.
Seth McFarlane and Chadwick Boseman are partnering with Eisa Davis, a writer for the show She’s Gotta Have It, to make a drama about Carlotta Walls, the youngest member of the Little Rock nine. It will be based on Carlotta Walls LaNier’s memoir A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High.
Published by One World Books, part of Random House Inc., the memoir details her experiences as a 14-year-old at the center of a national historic turning point. After the Little Rock high schools were closed for the 1958-1959 school year, she and two of the other Little Rock nine members returned to Central High School.
A logline provided for the project indicates that the project will focus on Walls LaNier as she navigates school and her place in history. The full logline reads: “In 1957, after the landmark Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education, 14 year-old Carlotta Walls is among the first black students to attend the all-white Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas. She walks into an unexpectedly violent struggle against integration, which suddenly turns her and the other black students into civil rights icons. For Carlotta – a teenager at the center of a cataclysmic moment in American history – graduating with her diploma means risking her life. But Carlotta searches for a way to keep her humanity intact at school and beyond, losing then regaining her selfhood in a coming of age leavened by humor, family, friendship, and solidarity.”
According to the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Walls LaNier became “the first African-American woman to walk across the Central High School stage to receive her diploma.”
Hollywood trade reports indicate that the drama series is part of McFarlane’s development deal with NBCUniversal. It is being set up at UCP, part of Univeral Studio Group. His Fuzzy Door Productions is partnerhing with Boseman’s Xception Content to develop the drama series.
McFarlane and Erica Huggins of Fuzzy Door Productions; Boseman and Logan Coles of Xception Content; and Nick Marell, Coby Greenberg and Joe Micucci will executive produce the drama. In addition, Davis will executive produce as well as write the project.
Walls LaNier will serve as a consultant.
It is unclear if the project will be filmed in Arkansas. In a phone call with Arkansas Money & Politics, Arkansas film commissioner Chris Crane said he was aware of the project but could provide no comment on the project. AMP will follow the story and update as more information becomes available.