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The viral video of Floyd’s murder sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the US (Getty Images)
The viral video of Floyd’s murder sparked Black Lives Matter protests across the US (Getty Images)

George Floyd biopic Daddy Changed the World in the works

George Floyd, the 46-year-old man whose murder by a Minneapolis police officer ignited anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests across the US, will be the subject of a big-screen biopic.

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The film, titled Daddy Changed the World, will depict the life of Floyd who became a symbol of racial injustice when his murder sparked the surge in Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

Deadline reports that Radar Pictures, which has credits including Jumanji and The Last Samurai, in partnership with 8 Queens Film & Media Production and Night Fox Entertainment, will produce the feature film.

Floyd’s family have authorised the film; his daughter Gianna and his mother Roxie Washington will work as executive producers to ensure the biopic’s authenticity and connection to Floyd’s story. Gregory R Anderson, the writer of the 2007 street dance film Stomp the Yard, will write the script. The movie is still in search of a director.

The announcement of the film’s commissioning arrives days before the fourth anniversary of Floyd’s murder on 25 May 2020.

Videos of Floyd’s murder, showing police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for approximately nine minutes despite Floyd saying he could not breathe more than 20 times, went viral on social media, sparking international racial justice protests under the Black Lives Matter movement.

Audio recordings from the bodycam footage taken at the scene showed that Floyd was pleading for his mother, and asking Chauvin to stop. At one point, Floyd gasps: “You’re going to kill me, man.”

Chauvin, who detained Floyd for allegedly carrying a counterfeit $20 bill, was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April 2021 and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. Three other officers at the scene were convicted of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

Protesters in Chicago following Floyd’s murder (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Protesters in Chicago following Floyd’s murder (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Daddy Changed the World is promised to offer a deeper understanding of Floyd’s life, and the harrowing events that took place in the moments before his murder.

Deadline reports that the project will not be a straightforward biopic, but a “gritty drama of a man and his community thrust into the fiery light of history”.

It is expected the film will recount how, in his youth in Texas, Floyd was a talented football and basketball player. He was known affectionately by his peers as a gentle giant and “Big Floyd” because of his 6 ft 6 height.

In his adult life, Floyd moved to Minneapolis with a friend in 2014. He worked in a variety of jobs and was doing security work at a Salvation Army shelter before his murder. Floyd also campaigned against gun violence and mentored young men in his local community.

Protester outside the Minneapolis police department days after the murder of George Floyd (Getty Images)

Protester outside the Minneapolis police department days after the murder of George Floyd (Getty Images)

“We are excited the world will see the real, jovial and loving George we know,” Floyd’s mother, Washington, said in a statement to Deadline. “This film will humanise him, embody the essence of his life, and hopefully reignite efforts to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. It’s time for justice and equality for all.”

“We need to make changes swiftly,” she added. “No other child should lose their father like Gianna did. We thank everyone who stood with us and protested. George’s legacy will live on through this film.”

Kaeita Rankin, from 8 Queens, said that Daddy Changed the World aims to “inspire change and create a better future for generations to come. George Floyd’s legacy will not be forgotten, and I am honoured to be a part of this important project.”

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