After a bidding war with the likes of Paramount and Universal, Broad Green Pictures has nabbed the rights to develop an adaptation of the Bryan Stevenson memoir Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption with Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) on board to star and Destin Cretton (Short Term 12) to direct, according to Variety.
Cretton and Andrew Lanham adapted the screenplay which will tell the real life story of Stevenson, a young lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a practice dedicated to legally defending the poor and wrongly incriminated, as well as women and children. One of his first cases involved a young man named Walter McMillian who was accused of a murder to which he swore complete innocence. Stevenson’s involvement led him into an investigation that exposed a web of political conspiracy that would then change his perspective on justice forever.
The novel was named one of the best of 2014 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time Magazine and also won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction by the American Library Association. Despite these high accolades, it wasn’t until Jordan and Cretton attached themselves to the project that it began to gain traction.
Cretton’s most notable credit to date is his critically acclaimed 2013 indie Short Term 12, which starred Brie Larson. He also set to adapt the best selling memoir The Glass Castle, with his writing partner Lanham. However, that film has been put on hold while a lead actress is found to replace Jennifer Lawrence, who was originally attached to star.
Jordan is a young actor currently on the rise in Hollywood after starring in the critically praised Fruitvale Station as well as in Chronicle and the Zac Efron comedy That Awkward Moment. He will surely be on most moviegoers’ minds by the end of this year, however, when his two studio projects are released: the Fantastic Four reboot and the Rocky sequel Creed. With a distributor, director, and Jordan’s name now linked to Just Mercy, as well as other rumored castings like Will Smith and Denzel Washington, the film should have little trouble breaking ground from here on out.