Even if he isn't doing too much in film nowadays, Matthew McConaughey is making his return to TV with the film role that helped launch his career 25 years after the fact.
According to Deadline, HBO has acquired the rights to the John Grisham novel, A Time For Mercy, the sequel to Grisham’s classic novel, A Time to Kill. The studio will be developing it as a limited series, with Matthew McConaughey in final negotiations to reprise the role of defense lawyer Jake Brigance. Sources say that the series would have eight to 10 episodes.
In A Time For Mercy, Brigance finds himself embroiled in a deeply divisive trial when the court appoints him as the attorney for a timid 16-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy. The book is the third of Grisham’s to feature Brigance, with the second being 2013’s Sycamore Row. Apparently, there was never a discussion to adapt the second book, but McConaughey was drawn to the idea of returning to the role that helped launch his career when Grisham made it known that a third Brigance novel was on its way last year.
A Time to Kill followed McConaughey's fearless young lawyer as he defended a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his 10-year-old daughter. The mostly white town of Clanton, Mississippi reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime and incites violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan. The book came out in 1989 and was adapted into a film seven years later. Along with Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kevin Spacey starred, with Oliver Platt, Ashley Judd, Kiefer Sutherland, and Patrick McGoohan in supporting roles.
Although Matthew McConaughey had already done multiple movies before A Time To Kill, the film marked his first lead role and the one that would launch him into superstardom, even if that could have turned out completely different. The actor hasn’t done too much TV, except for a few episodes here and there on several shows, as well as hosting Saturday Night Live twice. His last true TV role was as Rustin “Rust” Cohle on HBO’s True Detective during Season 1, where he also served as executive producer. With McConaughey’s last TV role being on HBO, it makes sense that his first in seven years would be with the same network. He's also recently added "YouTuber" to his resume.
HBO is currently meeting with writers to pen the series, but no director is attached at the moment. Seeing that production is still a way’s away, fans can remain hopeful that they will be seeing the return of Jake Brigance sometime in the near future. In the meantime, A Time To Kill is streaming on HBO Max, so either way, they can still get their Brigance fix, with or without A Time For Mercy, whenever that may come our way.