John Guleserian press
TRIAL BY FIRE, from DP John Guleserian and PD Clay A. Griffith, Lands Early Summer Release Date from Roadside
April 1, 2019

By Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter

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.