'Just Mercy' Trailer Teases Powerful Performances from Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx

A newly released movie trailer shows Michael B. Jordan fighting for justice in his role in the biographical drama Just Mercy.

The trailer for the movie, which was released on September 4, stars Jordan as social justice activist and lawyer Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson moved to Alabama after graduating from Harvard Law School and founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in 1989, a legal center that is committed to ending mass incarceration. The movie is based on Stevenson’s 2014 book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.

In the movie, Jordan fights to get justice for Walter McMillian, played by Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx. McMillian is a Black man convicted of killing a white female store clerk and is sentenced to death row. The trailer of the movie opens with Stevenson asking McMillian how he ended up in jail.

"The first time I visited death row, I wasn't expecting to meet somebody the same age as me," Stevenson says as it cuts to a clip of the attorney hugging McMillian.

The trailer then depicts Stevenson telling his mother that he wants to represent McMillian because he could have ended up in a similar situation. His mother tells him that defending McMillian in the state of Alabama could upset a lot of people.

"You always taught me to fight for people who need the help the most," Stevenson responds.

Stevenson offers his help to McMillian, telling him that his “life is still meaningful, and I’m going to do everything possible to keep them from taking it.”

“You don’t know what you into down here in Alabama. When you’re guilty from the moment you’re born,” McMillian responds.

The trailer then shows Stevenson with Eva Ansley, the EJI’s operational director and another attorney dedicated to helping incarcerated people on death row. Ansley is played by Academy Award-winner Brie Larson.

Stevenson eventually earns McMillian’s trust after he meets with the man’s family and reassures them that he will help get McMillan off of death row. Throughout the trailer, a montage shows different scenes from the movie as Stevenson works to defend McMillian.

“If we could look at ourselves closely, we can change this world for the better. We all need grace. We all need mercy," Stevenson says in a voiceover during the montage.

At the end of the trailer, McMillian tells Stevenson, “If I get my truth back, you gave it to me. And ain’t nobody gonna take that from us.”

Jordan and Foxx both shared the trailer on Instagram once it was released with the caption “This is about all of us. Based on a true story. #justmercy in theaters this Dec!!”

Following the release of the trailer, EJI launched its new Just Mercy website. The website states that Stevenson won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and an NAACP Image Award for the book. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu called the book “as gripping as it is disturbing” and says it is “as if America’s soul has been put on trial.”

“We're excited to announce the launch of our new Just Mercy website. Just Mercy is a bestselling book by Bryan Stevenson that has been adapted into a feature film,” the statement from the center read. “It's a powerful true story about the Equal Justice Initiative, the people we represent, and the importance of confronting injustice.”

Andrew Lanham and Destin Daniel Cretton wrote the screenplay for Just Mercy. Cretton, known for directing the films Short Term 12 and Glass Castle, also directed the movie. The movie is slated for a limited release on December 25 before it is widely released in January 2020, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Jordan has had quite the movie career leading up to this role. He is known for his performances as Erik Killmonger in the 2018 Marvel film Black Panther and Adonis Johnson Creed in the 2015 movie Creed, according to IMDb. Jordan also played Oscar Grant in the movie Fruitvale Station, which is based on a true story about a Black man in Oakland, California who police fatally shot on New Year’s Day in 2009.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.