Is this the next big Oscar contender? Jordan’s latest film “Just Mercy” premiered in Toronto on Friday, he plays Harward-educated lawyer Bryan Stevenson. (Image credit: Warner)
Described as an inspiring drama that brings one of the most important stories of our time to the big screen, Just Mercy is directed by award-winning filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton (“The Glass Castle,” “Short Term 12”) from a screenplay he co-wrote, based on the award-winning nonfiction bestseller by Bryan Stevenson.
“Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.
The main cast also includes 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 pivotal testimony against Walter McMillian is called into question; Rafe Spall as Tommy Chapman, the DA who is fighting to uphold Walter’s conviction and sentence; 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 wife, Minnie McMillian, who stands by her husband.
The film is set for UK release in January 2020.