The actor told The Associated Press in a red-carpet interview he felt a “huge responsibility” playing Stevenson in the biographical film, which premiered Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Jordan said that when he was first approached about the project four years ago, he “sadly” didn’t know much about Stevenson’s work.
“I took that as a personal challenge,” he continued.
Stevenson, a Harvard Law School graduate, moved to Alabama and founded the Equal Justice Initiative in 1989 to defend the wrongly convicted and condemned. The Warner Bros. film “Just Mercy” is based on Stevenson’s 2014 best-selling memoir, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.”
The film tells the true story of Walter McMillian, whom Stevenson comes to represent. McMillian, a Black man convicted of the murder of a white female store clerk in 1988, was sentenced to death despite evidence of his innocence.
The stars of “Just Mercy” include Brie Larson, who plays Eva Ansley, the operational director at EJI, and Jamie Foxx, who plays McMillian.
Foxx told Variety on the red carpet Friday that “Just Mercy” is “the most incredible project that you could ever be a part of.”
The film, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, is slated for a limited release on Dec. 25 before it’s widely released in January 2020.