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Warner Bros. has picked up the Michael B. Jordan legal drama Just Mercy from Broad Green Pictures, the troubled production and distribution entity, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
The move sets up the project as Jordan’s next pic, a modestly budgeted effort that will shoot in early 2018.
Helmer Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12) is directing Just Mercy, which adapts the memoir of the same name by Bryan Stevenson.
Stevenson is the venerated founder of the Equal Justice Initiative which fights on behalf of the poor, the wrongly condemned and death-row prisoners trapped in the justice system. Just Mercy was a memoir that told of Stevenson’s first case, that of Walter McMillian, a young black man sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit. Despite being at a barbecue surrounded by dozens of witnesses at the time of the murder, McMillian was convicted in a trial that lasted a day and a half and spent six years on death row. Stevenson’s taking on of the case eventually led to the discovery that the prosecution suppressed evidence and to McMillian’s exoneration.
The book was published in October 2014 and became a New York Times best-seller. It drew critical raves, with reviewers likening it to To Kill a Mockingbird.
Just Mercy had been in development at Broad Green since 2015. It was among the dozens of projects let go in August when the company shut down its production division.
Jordan next appears in Marvel’s Black Panther.
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