A Time to Kill 2 is officially in the works as a limited series at HBO Max. Deadline reports that HBO has acquired the rights to the John Grisham novel, A Time for Mercy, which served as a sequel to Grisham’s original A Time to Kill novel. Matthew McConaughey is also in final negotiations to reprise his role as defense attorney Jake Brigance from the acclaimed crime drama 25 years after its release in theaters in 1996.
Set in Clanton, Mississippi, A Time to Kill followed Matthew McConaughey as a young lawyer defending a Black man (Samuel L. Jackson) accused of murdering two white men who sexually assaulted his 10-year-old daughter. The bulk of the story is set in the courtroom with McConaughey’s Jake Brigance arguing for the defendant’s release, igniting racial tensions in the area and even drawing the attention of the Ku Klux Klan.
After the original novel was a hit for Grisham, A Time to Kill was adapted into a movie by director Joel Schumacher and writer Akiva Goldsman. Along with McConaughey and Jackson, the movie also starred Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Charles S. Dutton, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Brenda Fricker, and Ashley Judd. The movie earned immense critical acclaim and was a smash hit at the box office, and for his part, McConaughey won Best Breakthrough Performance at the MTV Movie Awards.
Grisham previously brought back the Jake Brigance character for the followup novel Sycamore Road, which was released in 2013. More recently, Grisham brought back Jake for the third time for the 2020 novel A Time for Mercy, which serves as the creative inspiration for the HBO Max series. Word is it was McConaughey who got the ball rolling on the new adaptation after hearing about the new Grisham novel, as the actor was drawn to the idea of revisiting the role that helped launch his career.
A Time for Mercy is set five years after the events of A Time to Kill, with Jake now assigned to the case of a young man who shot and killed his mother’s boyfriend – who just so happened to be a deputy sheriff. Claiming self-defense, the boy says he only shot his father to protect his mother, his sister, and himself from sustaining further abuse. As with the previous case, Jake’s decision to represent the boy draws great ire from the locals, but the attorney stays committed to doing whatever it takes to spare the teen from the gas chamber.
McConaughey has also kept busy with other endeavors outside of his acting career. Last year, he released his new memoir Greenlights to great success. He has since teased a move into politics when he said that running for governor of Texas was something he was genuinely considering.
HBO and Warner Bros. Television declined to comment on the report at this time, and it’s unclear when production might begin or when the series will potentially premiere on HBO Max. At this time, McConaughey’s name is also the only one from the original cast that’s currently attached to the series, but let’s hope we can get Samuel L. Jackson back for a special appearance. The series will reportedly consist of 8-10 episodes with Lorenzo di Bonaventura producing. This news comes to us from Deadline.