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John Grisham's 'A Time to Kill' Sets Key Broadway Cast

John Grisham
Chris Wolf/FilmMagic/Getty Images
John Grisham

Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Dalton Thompson and John Douglas Thompson are the first actors attached to the best-selling courtroom thriller's stage adaptation.

NEW YORK -- Sebastian Arcelus, Fred Dalton Thompson and John Douglas Thompson will lead the Broadway cast of A Time to Kill, playwright Rupert Holmes' stage adaptation of the John Grisham legal thriller.

Directed by Ethan McSweeny, the production will open Oct. 20 at the John Golden Theatre, following preview performances from Sept. 28.

In addition to his Senate term representing Tennessee, and his 2008 bid for the Republican presidential election nomination, Fred Dalton Thompson is best known for his role as New York District Attorney Arthur Branch in NBC's long-running Law & Order

STORY: John Grisham Pens 'A Time to Kill' Sequel 

He returns to the courtroom to play Judge Noose in Grisham's chronicle of an incendiary murder trial that stirs up racial unrest in a small Southern town. The production marks the actor's Broadway debut.

Arcelus is a series regular as Lucas Goodwin in Netflix's political drama House of Cards, which drew nine Emmy nominations this week. He will continue his commitment to season two while rehearsing and performing in A Time to Kill, in which he plays the idealistic young lawyer Jack Brigance.

Up to now, Arcelus' Broadway credits have all been in musicals, including Elf, Jersey Boys, Wicked and Rent.

John Douglas Thompson has stacked up stellar reviews and multiple awards for his dynamic stage work in recent years, including The Emperor Jones, The Iceman Cometh, Othello and King Lear. He recently appeared in Phylicia Rashad's production of Joe Turner's Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

In A Time to Kill, he plays the pivotal role of Carl Lee Hailey, a black man accused of killing the two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter.

Remaining names in the ensemble cast of 13 will be announced in the coming weeks.