Alex Moreland talks to Bryan Stevenson about Just Mercy, the film inspired by his life…
Just Mercy tells the story of an idealistic lawyer trying to prove the innocence of a man sentenced to death – it’s a gripping courtroom drama, based on a true story, that touches on ideas of race, power and corruption, and asks if the legal system can truly be just if it cannot find a place for mercy.
Bryan Stevenson – played in the film by Michael B. Jordan – recently sat down with Alex Moreland to discuss Just Mercy, what it’s like to watch a biopic based on your own life, and just what persuaded him to finally let the film be made.
Just Mercy follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan might have had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.
Just Mercy is in cinemas now.