Jason Mitchell, who played Eazy-E in Straight Outta Compton, has now landed a new role playing Sean Bell. Bell was the Black man who made headlines after he was fatally shot by police just hours before his 2006 wedding.
According to TMZ, the biopic is titled 50 Shots as a nod to the 50 bullets that police shot into Bell in Jamaica, Queens.
The 23-year-old young man had just finished partying with two friends and his father at his bachelor party when police opened fire on their vehicle. Investigators would later report that undercover officers investigating a nearby strip club had believed the men were armed. But it was later determined that the men were not.
As was first reported by Urban Hollywood 411, Mitchell initially read for the role of one of the undercover cops but after reading the script asked to instead play Bell. Not only was his request granted he is now executive producing the project along with Tru of TruVision Films.
The passion project has reportedly been in the works for three years and is set to film in Queens. Bell’s family, especially his father, William, is said to be heavily involved in the project and has formed a special relationship with Mitchell since he took on the role, speaking to him almost daily.
Four years after the fatal shooting the city settled with Bell’s family for $7 million, however, three of the officers who opened fire were fully acquitted. Ten years after the shooting theGrio reported on how his passing still impacted them.
“Everyone who had come to town to celebrate the wedding with us stayed for his funeral,” his fiance, Nicole Paultre-Bell, recalled back in 2016. “It was not only traumatic for me, it was traumatic for the entire family. And still is.”
At the time, even though it had been a decade since Bell’s passing, she noted that their two daughters were still triggered by the police shootings in the news.
“When there is a highly publicized police shooting, her father’s name is brought up again. And sometimes, she may be tagged in a post, or her friends may be talking about it at school,” Paultre-Bell said of her eldest. “And it is tough.”
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