John Grisham's 'A Time to Kill' Headed for Broadway

John Grisham - Head Shot - 2011
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The page-to-stage transfer marks the first-ever theatrical adaptation of one of the bestselling author's legal thrillers.

NEW YORK -- John Grisham's courtroom drama A Time to Kill will be presented on Broadway in the fall, marking the first time one of the mega-selling author's properties has been adapted for the stage.

Producers Daryl Roth and Eva Price announced Tuesday that the play will begin preview performances on Sept. 28 at the John Golden Theatre, with official opening night set for Oct. 20.

Adapted by Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), the emotionally charged morality tale centers on an idealistic young lawyer who takes on the defense of a black father accused of murdering the two racist white males responsible for a horrific crime against his 10-year-old daughter. The incendiary trial ignites unrest in the fictitious Mississippi town where the story is set.

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"It was my first book and the first that I have allowed to be adapted for the theater," said Grisham in a statement. "Rupert Holmes did an excellent job of translating it from the page to the stage, and I am happy that not only my loyal readers, but a whole new audience will be able to experience this story in live theater."

Directing the production is Ethan McSweeny, who staged the 2000 Broadway revival of Gore Vidal's The Best Man. Cast and additional creative team will be announced shortly. McSweeny directed the premiere of the Grisham adaptation at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., in May 2011.

Published in 1989, A Time to Kill was adapted for the screen in a 1996 feature directed by Joel Schumacher that starred Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Matthew McConaughey and Kevin Spacey.