August 27, 2018
Fifteen Valiant Cross Academy students were doing jumping jacks in a Dexter Avenue parking lot Monday unaware their training would soon be interrupted by the son of Apollo Creed.
"Are you Michael B. Jordan?" shouted one Valiant Cross scholar.
"You're from 'Black Panther!'" yelled another.
Jordan was in Montgomery on Monday as filming began for "Just Mercy," a legal drama in which Jordan will star as civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative, which works to represent those who are wrongfully convicted or unfairly sentenced.
But the "Creed" star took time out of his schedule to visit Valiant Cross and offer some advice.
"You gotta listen to your teachers. ... Make sure you listen to your parents. Work hard...just pay attention because school goes by real quick," Jordan said before taking a picture with the students.
The film, based on Stevenson's memoir of the same name, will follow Stevenson's defense of Walter McMillian, who sat on death row for six years after being convicted on false testimony.
Michael B Jordan is set to portray Bryan Stevenson in the upcoming movie "Just Mercy," based on the Montgomery attorney's autobiography.
Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx will co-star as McMillian. O'Shea Jackson Jr. ("Straight Outta Compton") and 2016 Oscar winner Brie Larson ("Room") round out the cast.
EJI put Montgomery in the national spotlight this year with the April openings of the Legacy Museum, which traces the history of slavery to present day mass incarceration, and the National Memorial to Peace and Justice, the first national memorial to the approximately 4,400 known African American lynching victims.
Published on The Montgomery Advertiser on 08/27/2018