Warner Bros. Pictures released the trailer for Just Mercy today, and it packs a stellar cast. Bringing this true story to life are Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, CreedCreed II) and Oscar winners Jamie Foxx (RayBaby DriverDjango: Unchained) and Brie Larson (Room, The Glass Castle, Captain Marvel).
The trailer introduces us to young lawyer Bryan Stevenson played by Michael B. Jordan as he begins his historical battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, he leaves his more locative job offers behind and travels to Alabama to defend those who weren’t given proper representation.
Stevenson meets up with local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson) who always felt like she was, “looking at a river full of drowning people and not having any way of helping them,” and together they tackle one of his first, and most incendiary cases. Jaime Foxx plays the accused Walter McMillian.
In 1987, McMillian was sentenced to death for the murder of an 18-year old girl, despite the fact that his case stood on shaky ground with evidence to his innocence and an untrustworthy witness. Bryan sets off down a winding path of legal and political manoeuvrings and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter and others like him.
Stevenson’s story is making its way to the screen thanks to Award-winning Filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton (The Glass Castle, Short Term 12). Cretton is helming the project as director and is working off a script he co-wrote with Andrew Lanham (The Glass Castle).
The drama is based on Stevenson’s own book titled Just Mercy: A story of Justice and Redemption. Published in 2014, the novel has spent more than 150 weeks on The New York Time Best Sellers List and was named of the year’s best books by Time, among others. Stevenson won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, an NAACP Image Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction for telling his story.
The film also stars Rob Morgan (Mudbound) as Herbert Richardson, a fellow prisoner who also sits on death row awaiting his fate; Tim Blake Nelson (Wormwood) as Ralph Myers, whose testimony against McMillian is called into question; Rafe Spall as Tommy Chapman, the DA who is determined to uphold Walter’s conviction; O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) as Anthony Ray Hinton, another wrongly convicted death row inmate whose cause is taken up by Bryan; and Karan Kendrick (The Hate U Give) as Walter’s loyal wife, Minnie McMillian.
Cretton assembled a team of creatives that had worked with him on The Glass Castle. The ensemble includes Brett Pawlak as director of photography, production designer Sharon Seymour, editor Nat Sanders and composer Joel P. West. Constume designer Francine Jamison-Tanchuck (Detroit, Roman J. Israel, Esq.) joined them.
Just Mercy comes from Warner Bros. Pictures in association with Endeavor Content/One Community/Participant Media/Macro and is a Gil Netter Production and Outlier Society Production. The PG-13 film is slated for a limited Christmas release, with more theatres added for a wide release on January 10, 2020.