Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios acquires global media rights to novel ‘Ghost Boys’

'Ghost Boys' is a heartbreaking and powerful story about a Black boy killed by a White police officer, drawing connections through history

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group feature film division, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures (ESMP), is proud to announce its acquisition of global media rights to the award-winning and critically-acclaimed novel Ghost Boys. Written by author Jewell Parker Rhodes (MAGIC CITY, PARADISE ON FIRE, TOWERS FALLING), GHOST BOYS won 2018’s “NAIBA (New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association) Book of the Year Award” as well as the “E.B. White Read Aloud Award.”

Ghost Boys novel,

Byron Allen is the owner of theGrio‘s parent company.

Ghost Boys is a heartbreaking and powerful story about a Black boy killed by a White police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes. Ghost Boys tells the story of twelve-year-old Jerome, who is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat.

As a ghost, Jerome observes the devastation that has been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing. Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life.

Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions. Author Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today’s world, and how one boy grows to understand American Blackness in the aftermath of his own death. 

The global media rights for GHOST BOYS were acquired by ESMP’s Head of Acquisitions, Chris Charalambous, who will oversee the project with ESMP’s EVP of Production & Content, Matthew Signer, and Executive Producers Byron Allen, Carolyn Folks, and Jennifer Lucas. The development and production of the GHOST BOYS movie will be done in conjunction with independent producers Amy Baer (LAST VEGAS, BRIAN BANKS, MARY SHELLEY) and Michael Besman (ABOUT SCHMIDT, SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, BOUNCE). Baer’s associate, Chris Ceccotti, will serve as Executive Producer. The project is currently out to writers to adapt to screenplay. 

“I first learned of GHOST BOYS from my daughter, who was reading it for a school class assignment, and I was immediately intrigued by the story and subject matter,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. “GHOST BOYS is simply a brilliant book, and we at Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures are extremely passionate about sharing this phenomenal story with the world.” 

Byron Allen
Media mogul Byron Allen (Photo by Michele Thomas)

“Producer Amy Baer and I are thrilled to work with Byron Allen’s company,” said Producer Michael Besman. “We are delighted by Byron’s passion for this beautiful work.”

“I’m delighted Byron Allen’s movie division will create an inspiring feature film to empower us to be more empathetic and to ‘bear witness’ against social injustice,” said GHOST BOYS author Jewell Parker Rhodes. “Protecting all children’s innocence and humanity is paramount. I’m not surprised that it was an amazing youth, Mr. Allen’s daughter, who helped advocate for GHOST BOYS to become a movie. I’m thrilled and humbled to have GHOST BOYS adapted and transformed to a new life.” 

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