Screenwriter Andrew Lanham Says Writing The Script For ‘Just Mercy’ Was A Process Of Putting His Voice Aside

The film adaptation of a nonfiction book opens in theaters Friday.

By Laura RiceJanuary 10, 2020 11:41 am,

Andrew Lanham is the cowriter of the film “Just Mercy” – an adaptation of attorney Bryan Stevenson’s nonfiction book of the same title. Lanham got his MFA in screenwriting at the University of Texas at Austin. He also won the Drama and Latitude screenwriting awards at the Austin Film Festival in 2010, which he says opened the door to the industry for him.

“It’s a real honor and kind of a thrill while being slightly surreal at the same time, to be back here [in Austin] with an actual big movie,” Lanham says.

“Just Mercy” tells the story of Walter McMillian, who was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1988. Bryan Stevenson represented McMillian through the appeals process and has since become “one of, if not the leading, anti-death penalty and civil rights lawyers in the country.” Stevenson also runs the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama. In the film, Michael B. Jordan plays Stevenson and Jamie Foxx plays McMillian.

Lanham says writing the script was “a process of putting my own voice aside and trying to educate myself as much as possible to kind of live up to the opportunity of working on a project like this.”

“Just Mercy” opened in select theaters on December 25, 2019, and opens everywhere January 10, 2020.

Written by Morgan Kuehler.