Mamoudou Athie joins the cast of the legal drama The Burial for Amazon Studios. He joins Jamie Foxx, Tommy Lee Jones and Jurnee Smollett who were previously cast.
The film is based on a true story, about a bankrupt funeral homeowner who decides to sue a rival businessman over a handshake deal gone wrong and then owner hires a flamboyant attorney to handle the case. Harrison Ford was originally cast opposite Foxx, but he had to drop out of the project so Jones is stepping in.
Maggie Betts is directing from the script written by Doug Wright.
The film is based on a 1992 article of the same name, written by Jonathan Harr for the New Yorker. The article is about “contractual dispute case brought against funeral home executive Ray Loewen by Mississippi businessman Jeremiah O’Keefe, who hired the flamboyant attorney Willie Gary. The jury awarded O’Keefe a total of $500 million, an amount which would bankrupt Loewen’s company.”
Foxx is co-producing The Burial with Amazon Studios, Bobby Shriver Inc. and Double Nickel Entertainment. Datari Turner, Bobby Shriver and Double Nickel’s Adam Richman, Jenette Kahn are also producing.
Betts wrote and directed Novitiate, which won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Director at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. She also received a Gotham Award nomination for the film.