Trailer released for Michael B. Jordan film 'Just Mercy' highlighting power of grace, redemption

Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx star in the forthcoming film 'Just Mercy.'
Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx star in the forthcoming film "Just Mercy." | YouTube/Screengrab

The powerful new trailer for “Just Mercy” shows actor Michael B. Jordan starring as an attorney fighting for justice for an inmate falsely accused of murder. The trailer highlights the themes of redemption, mercy and hope. 

In the forthcoming Warner Bros. biographical drama, Jordan stars as lawyer and social justice activist Bryan Stevenson. A Harvard Law School graduate, Stevenson moved to Alabama and founded the Equal Justice Initiative in 1989 to defend the wrongly condemned and convicted.

The film is based on Stevenson’s 2014 book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.

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Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx plays Walter McMillian, a black man convicted of the murder of a white female store clerk and sentenced to death. Stevenson comes to represent McMillian and is determined to fight for the truth. Despite overwhelming odds, Stevenson was able to overturn McMillian's conviction and convince the prosecutors that the case had been mishandled. 

Stevenson tells McMillian: “Your life is still meaningful, and I’m going to do everything possible to keep them from taking it.” 

“You don’t know what you’re into down here in Alabama, when you’re guilty from the moment you’re born,” Foxx’s character responds.

Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson plays Eva Ansley, the operational director at EJI who tirelessly fought for justice for death row prisoners since the organization’s inception. In the trailer, her character reflects on the brokenness of the justice system, stating: “When I first learned about all of this, it was like looking at a river full of drowning people and not having any way of helping them.”

In the trailer, Jordn’s character is shown emphasizing the need for mercy within the justice system, stating: “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done ... It’s never too late for justice.” 

“If we can look at ourselves closely, we can change this world for the better,” he later tells the courtroom. “We all need grace. We all need mercy."

The real-life Stevenson is now a professor at New York University Law School. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color.  

Shot almost entirely on location in and around Atlanta, with a few scenes also filmed in Montgomery, Alabama, “Just Mercy” is written by Andrew Lanham and Destin Daniel Cretton and also directed by Cretton.

It’s produced by two-time Oscar nominee Gil Netter (“Life of Pi,” “The Blind Side”) and Asher Goldstein (“Short Term 12”), with Mike Drake, Michael B. Jordan, Bryan Stevenson, Gabriel Hammond, Daniel Hammond, and Niija Kuykendall serving as executive producers.

“Just Mercy” is slated for a limited release on Dec. 25 before it’s widely released in January 2020. Watch the trailer below.

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