Michael B. Jordan Headlines Film Adaptation of Criminal Justice Memoir, ‘Just Mercy’

By Sameer Rao Dec 01, 2017

"Black Panther" star Michael B. Jordan will portray criminal justice reform advocate Bryan Stevenson in an upcoming adaptation of Stevenson’s best-selling memoir, "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption."

The Hollywood Reporter announced yesterday (November 30) that Warner Bros. studios acquired the film, also called "Just Mercy," and will begin production in early 2018. Warner Bros. purchased the project after Broad Green Pictures, its original studio, closed its production wing in August. The Wrap reported in 2016 that Jordan will star as Stevenson, the attorney who founded the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative in 1994 and still serves as its executive director.

Stevenson’s 2014 book follows one of his first cases with the initiative, which uses legal advocacy to fight racial injustice. The case involved Walter McMillian, a Black Alabama resident who spent six years on death row for the shooting death of a White store clerk. Stevenson and the initiative proved in 1994 that state prosecutors suppressed evidence—including testimony from dozens of witnesses—that placed McMillian at a barbecue, nowhere near the crime scene. 

Variety reports that Daniel Destin Cretton ("Short Term 12") will direct from the screenplay he co-wrote with Andrew Lanham ("The Kid"). Jordan and Stevenson will both executive produce the film.