The topic of wrongful convictions – particularly for African-Americans – is not new, nor ground breaking but after the exoneration of the ‘Central Park Five’ in 2014, the societal problem has been thrust back into the spotlight. In May, Netflix released a deeply moving series that followed the dramatised events of five black teenagers arrested for the attacking and rape of female jogger. Now, the latest film will focus on the 1987 wrongful conviction of a man in Alabama.
Based on lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s 2014 best-selling book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, the true story looks to a young Harvard-educated attorney who goes to Alabama with the hope of overturning wrongful convictions as well as cases where inmates weren’t given proper legal representation – an issue that still occurs today. Michael B Jordan stars as Bryan Stevenson while Captain Marvel-actress Brie Larson fronts Eva Ansley another advocate for accused. Jamie Foxx will play Walter McMillan, a man on death row for a murder with very little evidence. The late ‘80s case became Stevenson’s most famous and important cases and serves as a landmark trial in the state.
Though it focusses on very heartbreaking, real issues we still face today, its trailer is surprisingly uplifting – the feel-good film we need this year. Featuring an award-winning cast and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, there is already awards season buzz.
Just Mercy will see a limited release this Christmas before rolling out in more cinemas in January. Tune into the new trailer below.