There’s a lot of talent in front of and behind the camera that makes Just Mercy so intriguing.
In the film’s first trailer, which debuted Wednesday, we see Creed and Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan playing Bryan Stevenson, who, as a young Harvard-graduated lawyer, went to Alabama to defend minority prisoners wrongly convicted of crimes or without proper representation.
Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx plays one of his clients, Walter McMillian, who was sentenced to die in 1987 for the killing of an 18-year-old girl, despite questionable testimony and evidence pointing to his innocence. Then there’s Brie Larson, Captain Marvel herself. The actress plays Eva Ansley, a local advocate who comes to work with Bryan.
“What appealed most was being able to share Bryan’s inspiring story and shed light on those affected by the inequities and implications of our current criminal justice system,” Jordan previously told PEOPLE. “It’s easy to ignore statistics; it’s harder when you put a human face to it. I hope that giving more context to something that’s been happening for such a long time and understanding that it’s still happening will give people a sense of appreciation for the freedom that we have, but also motivate them to demand answers for the injustices that are continually happening today.”
In the director’s seat for Just Mercy is Destin Daniel Cretton, the filmmaker behind Short Term 12, the indie title that marks one of Larson’s best performances on screen. The director previously re-teamed with the actress for The Glass Castle. Now, he too has been inducted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the helmer behind Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Just Mercy, co-written by Cretton and The Glass Castle‘s Andrew Lanham, also stars Rob Morgan (Mudbound), Tim Blake Nelson (Wormwood), Rafe Spall (Men in Black: International), and O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton).
The film will open in limited theaters on Dec. 25 before going wide on Jan. 10, 2020.