A Time to Kill is heading to Broadway.
John Grisham’s best-selling legal novel, which was adapted into a film starring Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McConaughey in 1996, is set to open October 20 at the John Golden Theater, producers Daryl Roth and Eva Price said Tuesday.
“John Grisham’s endlessly gripping, perfectly-plotted storytelling is so well-suited for the live theater, and we are thrilled to be bringing this first-ever stage adaptation of one his novels to Broadway,” Roth and Price said in a joint statement.
A Time to Kill is Grisham’s first property to be adapted for the stage. The Broadway version was written by Rupert Holmes and directed by Ethan McSweeny, who previously adapted the novel for Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage in 2011.
“For almost a quarter of a century, A Time to Kill has captivated readers with its raw exploration of race, retribution and justice,” Grisham said in a statement.
“It was my first book and the first that I have allowed to be adapted for the theater. Rupert Holmes did an excellent job of translating it from the page to the stage, and I am happy that not only my loyal readers, but a whole new audience will be able to experience this story in live theater.”
Previews will begin September 28, and the cast and crew will be announced at a later date.
A Time to Kill revolves around the rape of a young black girl named Tonya Hailey (Rae’Ven Larrymore Kelly) by two white racists, Billy Ray Cobb (Nicky Katt) and James Louis “Pete” Willard (Doug Hutchinson). Tonya’s father, Carl Lee Hailey (Jackson) kills the two men, who intends to plead not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. Carl Lee is represented by Jake Brigance (McConaughey), who gets help from law student Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock). The film is famous for Jackson’s line, “Yes, they deserved to die, and I hope they burn in hell!”
What do you think of A Time to Kill being adapted for Broadway?