Cyntoia Brown has a story that is one hundred percent inspirational: The author of Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System was convicted of the murder of Johnny Michael Allen, a man who Brown claimed had paid her to have sex with him. During the encounter, things took what Brown perceived to be a dangerous turn and, fearing for her life, she shot and killed the man. This led to a life sentence behind bars. This controversial sentence was commuted in 2017 by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam after new evidence was presented in the case and Brown finally saw release in 2019.
Variety reports today that a Starz television miniseries inspired by the above events and based off of Brown’s memoir is forthcoming from executive producers (and musical royalty) Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and La La Anthony. Anthony got the ball rolling on the project being a stringent advocate for Brown throughout the years. He shepherded the project to 50 Cent and his production house G-Unit Film & Television. Tapped to write the miniseries is Santa Sierra who has a history with both the rap mogul and Starz through work as a co-executive producer on Power Book III: Raising Kanan. Brown will serve as a consultant on the series with her husband Jamie Long.
In a press release, President of Original Programming for Starz Christina Davis said that “We’re honored to be entrusted with Cyntoia’s story, which shines a light on the injustice of a system that tried and sentenced an at-risk minor as an adult when she was a victim herself of sex trafficking. This limited series from Curtis, La La and Santa chronicles Cyntoia’s long journey to freedom and furthers our #TakeTheLead programming mandate centered on narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.”
Stories abound in popular culture – both in nonfiction and fiction formats – of people who have been unlawfully jailed: Shawshank Redemption, Prison Break, The Central Park Five, Conviction, The Green Mile and The Confession Tapes. The appeal is always the same – “There but for the Grace of God go I.”
This scripted Starz miniseries about Cyntoia Brown is currently in development. When word comes down on cast, production start-date and release, expect to see all details here at your friendly neighborhood pop culture outlet!