The film is based on a true story.
America's Deep South is entrenched in history that includes racial division and an unjust justice system, and Alabama takes center stage in a new Hollywood drama. The forthcoming film Just Mercy stars Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx as the actors portray real-life characters in a film that's based on true events.
Jordan plays Bryan Stevenson, a Harvard-educated lawyer who makes his way to the Yellowhammer State to help inmates sentenced to death. There he meets Walter McMillian, a man who was convicted for the murder of a white woman who worked in a dry cleaning shop. In the real-life events, there were multiple people who testified on McMillian's behalf and gave him an alibi, but three people took the stand against him, fingering him for the crime. His trial reportedly lasted a day and a half before McMillian was sentenced to die.
Through a series of events that will be dramatized in Just Mercy, McMillian was later released after his conviction was overturned. On Wednesday, the trailer for Just Mercy was delivered, and in an interview with PEOPLE, Jordan explained why he wanted to take on the challenge of portraying Stevenson in the film.
"What appealed most was being able to share Bryan’s inspiring story and shed light on those affected by the inequities and implications of our current criminal justice system," he said. "It’s easy to ignore statistics; it’s harder when you put a human face to it. I hope that giving more context to something that’s been happening for such a long time and understanding that it’s still happening will give people a sense of appreciation for the freedom that we have, but also motivate them to demand answers for the injustices that are continually happening today."