Will Matthew McConaughey be returning to home screens as the lead character in a new adaptation of John Grisham’s “A Time for Mercy”? The industry is abuzz this week with reports that HBO is planning to adapt the 2020 novel as a serial, though any official announcement has not yet been made. It is being reported in the trades that Lorenzo Di Bonaventura would be executive producer.
Insiders think “A Time for Mercy” would be especially appropriate given today’s heightened awareness of racial conflict. Gresham’s novel narrates the story of 16-year-old Drew Gamble, a young Black man accused of killing his mother’s abusive boyfriend. The fact that the slain man was a deputy sheriff in Mississippi seems particularly timely, observers say, to the national debate over police brutality.
The novel is in the mold of Gresham’s earlier titles, “A Time to Kill” and “Sycamore Row,” whose central characters include a crusading attorney, Jake Brigance. McConaughey played the role of Brigance in the 1996 adaptation of that book, whose cast also included Samuel L. Jackson and Sandra Bullock.
McConaughey won an Emmy nomination for his role in HBO’s “True Detective” and won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as AIDS activist Ron Woodroof in the 2013 film “Dallas Buyers Club,” directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Speculation was also rife this week that the actor was considering throwing his hat in the ring as a candidate for the Texas gubernatorial election in 2022.