(NEW YORK) — Michael B. Jordan’s new legal drama Just Mercy is more than just a film with an important message.
In the film, based on Bryan Stevenson’s 2014 New York Times best-selling memoir of the same name, Jordan stars as Stevenson, a civil right activist who founded the Equal Justice Initiative. Jordan stars alongside Jamie Foxx, who plays his client Walter McMillian, a young black man sentenced to death in 1987 in Alabama for a crime he didn’t commit.
Jordan says his star studded cast, which includes the likes of Oscar winners Foxx and Brie Larson, was less about superstar names and more about getting those that were invested in his project.
“Everybody that was involved in this movie really cared about what we were saying, really cared about the story we were trying to portray,” Jordan tells ABC Audio. “And we want people outside of this to feel like they could be a part of the cause. They could be part of the solution, be a part of that change.”
Part of that change, Jordan reveals, was his inclusion rider, which actors and filmmakers use as part of their contracts to demand more diversity among the cast and production staff of films they’re working on.
“And the inclusion rider was it was a big part of that as well,” Jordan says, referring to his film. “Warner Brothers ran toward the idea of inclusion and allowed us to make this Warner Brothers first movie under that inclusion act.”
“It was a huge win for us and hopefully— it’s a necessary step,” he continues. “We have a lot of steps to go and we have a lot more road to walk. But hopefully this will put us in the right direction.”
Just Mercy is in theaters nationwide.
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