Tom Skerritt is set to make his Broadway debut in the stage adaptation of A Time To Kill.
According to producers Daryl Roth and Eva Price, Skerritt will play Lucien Willbanks, the mentor to protagonist Jake Brigance (Sebastian Arcelus). The role was played by Donald Sutherland in the 1996 film version.
“We are so thrilled to welcome the enormously gifted Tom Skerritt to this production of A Time to Kill,” Roth and Price said in a joint statement.
“His uncanny mixture of warmth, command and intelligence have been on display throughout his remarkable, decades-spanning career, and will undoubtedly bring our Lucien Wilbanks to vivid life on Broadway this fall.”
A Time To Kill will also star John Douglas Thompson as Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel L. Jackson in the film), and Ashley Williams as Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock). Tonya Pinkins, Chike Johnson, Dashiell Eaves, J.R. Horne, John Procaccino, Tijuana Ricks, Lee Sellars, and Fred Dalton Thompson will round out the cast.
Set in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi, A Time To Kill revolves around the rape of a young black girl, Tonya Hailey, by two white racists. The men are arrested, and Tonya’s father, Carl Lee Hailey, hires Jack Brigance because he is afraid they will be acquitted. Brigance says there’s a possibility the men will walk, and Carl Lee acquires a rifle and shoots them to death. He then goes on trial, and the district attorney seeks the death penalty.
The 1996 film is based on John Grisham’s best-selling legal novel of the same name. A Time To Kill was Grisham’s first novel and the first one he allowed to be adapted for the stage.
“[Writer] 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,” Grisham said.
A Time To Kill opens at the John Golden Theatre October 20.