Destin Daniel Cretton isn’t quite the household name as of yet, but he’s been making the indie rounds with some critical darlings like Short Term 12 and The Glass House. And soon, he’ll be behind the camera for Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. But before he can start shooting that he has a legal drama called Just Mercy, and Warner Bros. has dropped the first trailer.
Based on a true story, the film stars Michael B. Jordan as Bryan Stevenson, who is fighting for justice for a criminal (Jamie Foxx) on death row. The film also stars Brie Larson as Eva Ansley, an advocate who believes in Stevenson’s cause to defend the wrongly condemned. Check out the trailer below.
Just Mercy marks the third time that Cretton has worked with Larson. The two previously worked together on Short Term 12 and The Glass Castle. The former remains one of my most favorite films of the decade, and though the latter didn’t quite achieve the same status, it is still a wonderful film. However, Just Mercy puts Jordan front and center, as the film will be more about his fight, struggles, and triumphs.
Of course, with an inspirational film like this being released during the awards season, it’s easy to see what WB wants out of this. We’ll just have to see if it can get those nominations. And it’s not like the film is short on that kind of star power. Not only does it star two Academy Award winners, but Jordan is also proving himself to be an actor who deserves that accolade.
Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, and Rafe Spall also star.
Here’s the official plot synopsis:
A powerful and thought-provoking true story, “Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson 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. One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian, 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.
Just Mercy opens in theaters on December 25, 2019.