Just Mercy: Award-winning memoir to star-studded film

“Each one of us is worth more than the worst thing we’ve done.”

This quote is the basis of Bryan Stevenson’s work as a human rights lawyer. After graduating from Harvard law school in 1984, Stevenson moved to Alabama to work as a human rights lawyer. The majority of his work – exonerating innocent men from death row.

His memoir – Just Mercy – shares the legal and personal relationships that Stevenson built with those he represented. Now, over four years after the book’s release, it has been adapted into a major-picture film.

Based on the bestselling book by Bryan Stevenson, the film Just Mercy presents the true story of Bryan Stevenson and the case of Walter McMillian who was convicted and sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit. Just Mercy shows viewers the legal truth behind capital punishment

Michael B. Jordan stars in the film as Stevenson and Jamie Foxx as McMillian. The film was screened at the Toronto Film Festival and won awards at six different festivals across the country.

In conjunction with the film, an advocacy called Represent Justice has sought to organize viewers to advocate for “a judicial system in which outcomes are not determined by how you look or where you come from.”

Represent Justice has partnered with dozens of existing organizations that focus on criminal and racial justice to engage audiences already plugged into advocacy. On December 16, 2019, inter-faith leaders working to reform the justice system joined Stevenson, Jordan, and Foxx to discuss the film’s impact.

Stevenson spoke about his initial hesitation when approached about the film adaption. Once his reservations addressed, he became optimistic about the opportunity. “This film, this story is bigger than me, it’s bigger than you. This is about creating a new group of advocates for racial justice.”

Jordan and Foxx were both asked to explain their decision to portray these roles. Foxx said his decision was based largely on the casting of Jordan. His role in Marvel’s Black Panther inspired Foxx. “Even as the villain, he [Jordan] portrayed a sense of unity and strength for a community,” said Foxx.

Jordan explained his decision to take on the role was as easy. He said not many actors get to be apart of a production as pivotal as Just Mercy. He then went on to talk about how grateful he was to not only star in the film but be apart of the advocacy connected to it.

Just Mercy is set to be released in select theaters on December 25, 2019. Its full release date is January 10, 2020.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *