Roadside Attractions is planning a May 17 release for director Edward Zwick's Trial by Fire after acquiring U.S. rights to the true-crime drama starring Jack O'Connell and Laura Dern.
Trial by Fire had its world premiere at the 2018 Telluride Film Festival. The film, adapted from a New Yorker article, tells the story of a death-row inmate in Texas convicted of an arson-related triple homicide and the unlikely bond he forms with a mother of two who fights for his freedom.
“I first read David Grann’s article in The New Yorker nearly 10 years ago,” Zwick said Monday in a statement. “I couldn’t stop talking about it to friends and soon realized I had to try to make it as a film. I was appalled by the iniquity of Todd Willingham’s trial. I was completely infuriated by the miscarriage of justice that led to his imprisonment. This is ultimately a film about one man wrongly facing the death penalty and the profound preciousness of life.”
The announcement of the pic's acquisition and release date was made by Roadside co-chiefs Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff. The deal was brokered by Cohen and Cinetic Media.
Trial by Fire is the first major film financed by Alex Soros, a philanthropist and son of George Soros. His interest in the project stems from his passion for criminal justice reform.