John Grisham's 'Time to Kill' adapted for Broadway stage

Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:41pm EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Best-selling author John Grisham's first novel, "A Time to Kill," has been adapted for the stage and is heading for Broadway next month with an ensemble cast that includes Fred Dalton Thompson of TV's "Law and Order" and Tom Skerritt, an Emmy-award winner for "Picket Fences."

Although many of Grisham's nearly two dozen novels have been turned into popular films, "A Time to Kill," is the first to be adapted for the stage. The play will open on October 20.

"This is a very different novel from all the other John Grisham novels," said Tony award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes, who adapted the legal thriller about racism in the 1980s in rural Mississippi.

"It sprawls and spills over with emotion and some of the characters are so much larger than life that you know they had to have existed because no one would dare invent them that way."

Holmes described the book as Grisham's most human novel and the ultimate courtroom drama, with a tautness that made it suitable for adaption for the stage.

"The reason everyone is in that courtroom is because of a murder that occurred in that very same courtroom in front of that very same judge with the same prosecutor in the room," Holmes said in an interview.


Sebastian Arcelus, who appears as Lucas Goodwin in Netflix's original series "House of Cards," plays Jake Brigance, the young, idealistic lawyer defending a black man accused of taking the law into his own hands after his daughter is brutally beaten and raped.   Continued...

Actor Tom Skerritt poses at the premiere of his new film "Whiteout" in Los Angeles in this September 9, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files