‘A Time for Mercy’: What We Want to See in Matthew Mcconaughey’s ‘A Time to Kill’ Sequel

A Time to Kill was the movie that made Matthew McConaughey a star. It was based on John Grisham’s first book, but the fourth to make it to the screen after The Firm, The Pelican Brief and The Client. Now, trades Variety and Deadline report that HBO is developing a miniseries based on Grisham’s sequel, A Time for Mercy, and McConaughey is going to return.

A Time for Mercy star Matthew McConaughey pointing up
Matthew McConaughey | Rick Kern/WireImage

A Time for Mercy is set to be a 10 episode limited series. The book just came out in 2020 so it’s still too early for spoilers, but here are a few things we would love to see in the sequel to A Time to Kill

Matthew McConaughey must sweat in ‘A Time for Mercy’ like he did in ‘A Time to Kill’

A Time to Kill is set in Mississippi. The summer drama was sweaty all around. Sweaty in the courtroom, sweaty outside, sweaty at night. It won’t be Jake Brigance unless McConaughey sweats through several layers of clothing. 

Give Sandra Bullock a Roark cameo in ‘A Time for Mercy’

They’ve already gotten the most important cast member back with McConaughey reprising his role as Brigance. This will be a rare occasion for an actor to continue a role in a different medium.

Roark may not be in the book, but Sandra Bullock was such a significant part of A Time to Kill, it would be meaningful if they got her to appear in at least one episode. It’s a death penalty case and she was a death penalty activist. She’s surely seen new developments since the Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson) case and may have some advice or support to offer Brigance. 

Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock in the courtroom in A Time to Kill
Matthew McConaughey and Sandra Bullock | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

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While we’re on the subject of A Time to Kill cast members, Ashley Judd played Brigance’s wife, Carla. Judd is still working, too. Even if she’s not in Grisham’s book, McConaughey can come home to her. He should check in on Carl Lee Hailey and his daughter, too. They went through a lot and had a long road to recovery. 

Matthew McConaughey must deliver another impassioned closing argument

Courtroom dramas are juicy material for actors because there are lots of long speeches. A Time to Kill ends with Brigance describing the rape of Hailey’s daughter to the jurors. His cinches it when he tells them, “Now imagine she’s White.” It’s a shining moment for McConaughey.

Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L. Jackson in jail
L-R: Samuel L Jackson and Matthew McConaughey | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

RELATED: Matthew McConaughey Telepathically Told ‘A Time to Kill’ Director Joel Schumacher How to Film His Memorable Closing Argument

Writers for A Time for Mercy can surely pore through Grisham’s book and find some soliloquies of equal magnitude, or make up a new one. McConaughey is even more intense now than he was in 1996. After roles like Dallas Buyers Club, Magic Mike, True Detective and Mud, the new Brigance will have the jury in the palm of his hand.

Jake Brigance should be successful now 

A Time to Kill was not only the movie that made McConaughey a star, it was the case that made Brigance a successful lawyer. It would be nice to see Brigance enjoying some of the fruits of his labors. Of course, every case is unique. A Time for Mercy centers on a 16-year-old on trial for murder. Brigance may have a few more resources now, but it’s never easy. 

A Time to Kill cast exits the courthouse
Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey exit court | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

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There’s also the issue of timing. Grisham’s first book was set in the ’80s but the movie was present day in 1996. A Time for Mercy is set five years later, making the book a 1990 period piece. The show will come out at least 25 years after the movie, so even if they backdate it, a lot of time should have passed.

There was also a middle Brigance book Grisham wrote. Perhaps A Time for Mercy can show some love for Sycamore Row. Everything counts in a franchise!

Sources: Variety, Deadline