'A Time for Mercy' Will Have Matthew McConaughey Reprising 'A Time to Kill' Role For HBO John Grisham Series

'A Time for Mercy' Will Have Matthew McConaughey Reprising 'A Time to Kill' Role For HBO John Grisham Series

March 18, 2021

In 1996, Matthew McConaughey played white savior lawyer Jake Brigance in Joel Schumacher’s A Time to Kill, a film based on the novel by John Grisham. Now McConaughey will play the character yet again, reprising the Brigance role for the HBO series A Time for Mercy. The series is based on yet another Grisham novel – actually the third Grisham book to feature the Jake Brigance character – and has the lawyer defending a sixteen-year-old boy accused of murdering a local cop in a town in Mississippi.

Variety is reporting that Matthew McConaughey will reprise the role of Jake Brigance for A Time for Mercy, a new HBO series based on the novel by John Grisham. McConaughey previously played the character in another Grisham adaptation – 1996’s A Time to Kill, directed by Joel Schumacher. There, Brigance was a lawyer defending a Black man named Carl Lee Hailey (played by Samuel L. Jackson), who was on trial in Canton, Mississippi, for murdering the racist rapists who sexually assaulted his young daughter.

In Grisham’s novel A Time for Mercy, Brigance is now defending a teenager accused of murdering a cop. Here’s the book’s synopsis:

Clanton, Mississippi. 1990. Jake Brigance finds himself embroiled in a deeply divisive trial when the court appoints him attorney for Drew Gamble, a timid sixteen-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy. Many in Clanton want a swift trial and the death penalty, but Brigance digs in and discovers that there is more to the story than meets the eye. Jake’s fierce commitment to saving Drew from the gas chamber puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line.

The book was published last year and is actually the third Grisham book to feature the Brigance character (the other is Sycamore Row). According to the report, there are no writers attached to the A Time for Mercy series. All we know is that McConaughey is reprising the Brigance role, and that Lorenzo Di Bonaventura is executive producing.

While I don’t think anyone has thought about A Time to Kill in a long, long time, it’s interesting to see McConaughey returning to this role, and for an HBO series to boot. I’m guessing this is going to be a limited series with a one-and-done series, similar to HBO’s recent The Undoing, which was adapted from the novel by You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz. Deadline adds that the show is expected to be “8-10 episodes.”

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