If you think Matthew McConaughey didn’t start churning out quality work until the 2010s, you are sorely mistaken. One of his breakthrough roles was in Joel Schumacher’s adaptation of the John Grisham novel A Time to Kill in 1996, and it’s a role that McConaughey is now set to return to 25 years later.
According to Deadline, HBO has acquired the rights to Grisham’s follow-up novel A Time For Mercy, and are developing it as a limited series with McConaughey in final negotiations to reprise his role as defense attorney Jake Brigance.
The series is apparently set to run from 8 to 10 episodes.
A Time to Kill was a big hit critically and commercially, earning $152 million at the box-office in the midst of audience’s obsession with courtroom dramas in the 1990s. McConaughey was a risky proposition to take the starring role, only having a few roles to his name at the time and most of them in films that either weren’t well-received or he had very small parts in. The risk paid off though, with McConaughey lining up next to major league stars like Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson to tell the story of a hotshot young lawyer defending a Black man accused of murdering two white men.
In A Time For Mercy, Brigance takes on the case of a 16-year-old boy on trial for the murder of a local deputy. Naturally, this isn’t an open and shut case, as HBO believes there’s enough material here for 8-10 hours of engaging television. The setting and subject matter certainly seem fitting for a network that has lately gotten massive success out of series like Sharp Objects and, of course, True Detective, which launched with McConaughey in a leading role in the thick of his awards campaign for Dallas Buyers Club that would eventually net him an Oscar.
McConaughey doesn’t have much on his plate at the moment, with his only upcoming project the reprisal of his voice role in Sing 2. He’s been spending most of his time this past year promoting his memoir Greenlights, which could mean that A Time For Mercy could be on its way to production sooner rather than later. HBO still has a way to go, though, as the studio is currently meeting with writers for the series and has no other cast members or director(s) attached to the project.