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A Time to Kill (1996) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (3)
Matthew McConaughey was originally cast as Freddie Lee Cobb. After reading the script, he preferred the role of Jake Brigance. He went to director Joel Schumacher, who granted him a private screentest.
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Kevin Costner was considered for the role of Jake Brigance, but wanted complete control of the project. Author John Grisham objected, and Costner passed on the project.
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Like John Grisham's novel, the movie was very controversial, and was widely accused of condoning murder.
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Woody Harrelson wanted to play Jake Brigance, but John Grisham objected to his casting.
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Donald Sutherland reportedly wanted Lucien Wilbanks to be much more of a radical drunkard. Director Joel Schumacher wanted a mostly serious drama, and said it would be too much comic relief.
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Film debut of Octavia Spencer (Roark's Nurse).
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The film cast includes six Oscar winners: Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Brenda Fricker, Chris Cooper, and Octavia Spencer; and one Oscar nominee: Samuel L. Jackson
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In 1984 at the DeSoto County courthouse in Hernando, John Grisham witnessed the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim. The inspiration for the book came from the case of the rape and assault of twelve year old Marcie Scott and her sixteen-year-old sister Julie Scott. Unlike Grisham's depiction, however, the Scotts were white and their assailant, Willie Harris, was black. According to Grisham's official website, Grisham used his spare time to begin his first novel, which "explored what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants." He spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Grisham has also cited Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) as an influence. This book is set in 1984. Another stated inspiration was the success of Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent (1990).
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Director Joel Schumacher originally offered the lead role to Val Kilmer during the production of Batman Forever (1995), which is surprising since Schumacher has always been very open about his strained relationship with Kilmer on the set (while still praising Kilmer's performance). However, Kilmer declined.
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This was the second movie in which Kiefer Sutherland and his father Donald Sutherland both had roles. The first being Max Dugan Returns (1983).
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Paul Newman turned down the role of Lucien Wilbanks because he found the film's message distasteful.
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Among the numerous actors considered for the lead were Alec Baldwin, Brad Pitt, Bill Paxton, Ralph Fiennes, and Aidan Quinn.
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The book was John Grisham's first novel. The movie is his fourth.
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Although Sandra Bullock (Ellen RoArk) is suppose to be a young law student and Matthew McConaughey (Jake Brigance) is a law school grad and a father, Bullock is five years older than McConaughey.
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M Emmet Walsh appears to be left out of the movie credits at he end of the movie.
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Bruce Dern was the original choice for the role of Judge Noose, but he had other commitments.
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Samuel L. Jackson and Kiefer Sutherland share the same birthday, December 21st.
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Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey share the same birthday, July 26th.
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Director Joel Schumacher reunited with Oliver Platt and Kiefer Sutherland, who were all part of Flatliners (1990).
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Final theatrical film of Joe Seneca (Reverend Isaiah Street).
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Kevin Spacey and Donald Sutherland appeared in Outbreak (1995) and Horrible Bosses (2011).
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Kevin Spacey and Chris Cooper appeared in Darrow (1991) and American Beauty (1999).
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Kevin Spacey and Kiefer Sutherland acted in television roles as President of the United States. Spacey played Frank Underwood in House of Cards (2013), and Sutherland played Thomas Kirkman in Designated Survivor (2016). Both of their characters ascended to the Presidency without being elected.
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One of two 1996 releases featuring Matthew McConaughey and Chris Cooper. They also appeared in Lone Star (1996).
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Matthew McConaughey and Nicky Katt appear in Dazed and Confused (1993).
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Oliver Platt and Kevin Spacey appeared in Working Girl (1988).
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A number of people involved in the film worked on comic book superhero films and series. Joel Schumacher directed Batman Forever (1995) and Batman & Robin (1997). Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe along with appearing in The Spirit (2008). Kevin Spacey played Lex Luthor in Superman Returns (2006). Oliver Platt played Man in Black Suit in X-Men: First Class (2011). Patrick McGoohan played the father in The Phantom (1996). Chris Cooper played Norman Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). Kurtwood Smith played Robert Sullivan on Todd McFarlane's Spawn (1997), Bennett on Batman Beyond (1999), a prosecutor on Justice League (2001), Kanjar Ro on Green Lantern: First Flight (2009), Shyir Rev on Green Lantern: The Animated Series (2011), James Gordon on Beware the Batman (2013), and Vernon Masters on Agent Carter (2015). Octavia Spencer played the check-in girl on Spider-Man (2002).
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Both Sandra Bullock and Mathew McConaughey both own houses around Austin, Texas.
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Samual l Jackson appeared in Jurassic park (1993) and John Diehl would later appear In Jurassic Park 3(2001)
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Oliver Platt and Kiefer Sutherland starred together in The Three Musketeers (1993).
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M. Emmet Walsh plays a character in this movie named Willard Tyrell Bass. The name Tyrell also appears in another movie Mr. Walsh was in, Blade Runner (1982).
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Samuel L Jackson and Doug Hutchinson would appear 6 years later in No Good Deed (2002).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Soon after the murders, Jake (Matthew McConaughey) is tormented by guilt. He admits to Carla (Ashley Judd) that he didn't tell anyone about Carl Lee's (Samuel L. Jackson's) plans, because he didn't believe Carl Lee would go through with them. In the book, he does tell the Sheriff, but the Sheriff is the one who downplays the potential danger.
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Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland go on to star as father and son, which they are in real life, in the movie Forsaken (2015).
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Matthew McConaughey would play an attorney in The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), then go on to appear in Lincoln vehicle commercials.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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