JURY #2: Kiefer Sutherland aboard Clint Eastwood’s courtroom thriller

Jury Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland Joins Cast of Courtroom Thriller Juror #2

Kiefer Sutherland takes on the role of sponsor for 12 Steps in Clint Eastwood’s latest project, jury #2currently in pre-production.

Clint Eastwood’s latest (and supposedly last) effort in his long and distinguished canon, is based on a script by Jonathan Abrams that had, by some reports, been doing the rounds in Hollywood for a while. That’s quite surprising as it has an intriguing plot, based on the brief synopsis available. The protagonist is Justin Kemp, juror number 2 in a murder trial “who seeks to protect the accused without putting himself in danger,” according to a reliable source. This data raises the issue of impartiality from the outset.

But that’s not even the most enticing part. Evidently, Juror #2 is also an active drunk who slowly begins to realize that he may have played a role in the victim’s death. This slow build is an excellent device, dramatically speaking, with plenty of creative scope. Even better, it’s in equally solid logical ground. While blackouts are not uncommon for active alcoholics during binges that last from hours to weeks, ethanol prevents memories from forming during that period. (Interesting fact: alcohol is the only intoxicating that this phenomenon produces.) The gradual recollection of the jury suggests a ‘blackout’ instead, somewhat exaggerated, but still believable.

In jury #2, Kiefer Sutherland takes on the role of Justin’s 12-step sponsor, and one that’s really not for the faint-hearted. The typical 12-step sponsor, who acts as a mentor. semen counselor and walks on a knife’s edge, at best. They try to find the right combination of warnings and encouragement, under the very strict traditional guidelines of the 12-step program. Achieving the first goal is the hardest, just not drinking, and it precedes all the successes that follow, let alone dealing with the conundrum Kemp presents. In this situation, the Sponsor should advise one way, and one way only: Confess. Period.

But the situation may not be so simple for Jury Sponsor #2, whose first duty is the protection and support of the newcomer. Much depends on the nature of the memories and what Kemp’s typically fragile and sober freshman psyche should be like. For example, was the juror a friend of the victim? If so, how close were they? And if he is close, are your memories of him shaded with any subconscious doubt or shame? And then confidentiality issues, both as a jury member and in the 12-step tradition, only mark the beginning of further complications and intrigue; In short, the creation of an excellent film.

Mr. Sutherland certainly has his work cut out for him; this is a role that could be overstepped almost effortlessly, since a good part of the formal role of a 12-Step sponsor is one of prudence. But don’t worry: here’s an actor who has shown a knack for imbuing his characters with distinction; this seems like a worthy challenge to Sutherland’s mettle.

Sutherland joins a first-rate cast, including Nicholas Hoult as Justin Kemp, Toni Collette, Gabriel Basso, Zoey Deutch, and Eastwood himself in an unspecified role. And if this is indeed the final film from this director, then realizing the layered themes and emotional depths implicit in jury #2, currently in pre-production, is the fitting swan song to Eastwood’s sensational career. Warner Bros. will distribute the film.

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