Michael B. Jordan fights for Jamie Foxx in the trailer for the true story-based legal drama, Just Mercy. With awards season just around the corner, Warner Bros. is bringing several movies to the festivals in Telluride and Toronto over the next month, in an effort to improve their Oscar prospects. And among the WB films that don't have a lot of buzz right now, but aim to change that after their festival debut, is Destin Daniel Cretton's adaptation of Bryan Stevenson's memoir, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.
Directed and cowritten by Cretton and Andrew Lanham (The Glass Castle), Just Mercy follows Stevenson (Jordan) as a young lawyer fresh out of Harvard who heads to Alabama to defend Walter McMillian (Foxx), a man who's been imprisoned for murder despite having evidence that proves his innocence. The film won't open in theaters until the end of December (and only for a week-long awards qualifying run), but will screen at Toronto's festival well ahead of then on September 6. In the meantime, its marketing is getting underway this week.
The Just Mercy trailer is now online, ahead of its premiere in theaters over the forthcoming weeks. You can check it out in the space below.
In addition to introducing Stevenson and McMillian, the Just Mercy trailer expands its focus to the former's attempts to defend other clients who were either wrongly imprisoned and/or not afforded proper representation in court. He's joined in his efforts by local Alabamian advocate Eva Ansley, as played here by Cretton's Short Term 12 and The Glass Castle star (not to mention, Oscar-winner and Captain Marvel herself) Brie Larson. The trailer suggests Just Mercy is very much angling to become an Oscar contender this year, from its courtroom drama to the scenes of Stevenson and Ansley reflecting on just how broken the U.S. justice system really is, and what they can possibly do to change it. However, it remains to be seen if the film hews closer to Cretton's powerful, empathetic efforts on Short Term 12 or his well-meaning, but clunky and perhaps misguided approach to the true story-based Glass Castle.
Jordan, for his part, has yet to land an Oscar nomination, but could potentially change that with his performance in Just Mercy. There are already a few front-runners in this year's Best Actor race, with Joaquin Phoenix and Christian Bale having recently moved to the front of the pack thanks to their roles in this fall's Joker and Ford v. Ferrari (both of which debuted on the festival circuit this past week). Still, if he's able to impress critics like he has on numerous occasions in the past, Jordan could quickly catch up with them after Just Mercy screens in Toronto this weekend. The early reviews will similarly paint a clearer picture of the film's quality and awards season prospects in general.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures