The Burial: Release Date, Cast and Much More

Jamie Foxx starring in The Burial

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Jamie Foxx, a true Hollywood legend, started his acting journey in the early ’90s through the sketch comedy show In Living Color. Initially sticking to comedy, Foxx graced numerous sitcoms and films alongside big names like Robin Williams and Samuel L. Jackson. However, he quickly proved himself as a versatile actor in a variety of genres, from romance to sports, drama to action, and even animation. His remarkable career boasts an impressive range of roles, with his standout performance as the title character in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained being one of his most iconic. Following this, Foxx took on the role of a notorious inmate on death row in the 2019 biographical legal drama, Just Mercy. Now, Foxx is set to mesmerize audiences once more in the courtroom drama, The Burial, where he plays the real-life lawyer Willie Gary, opposite the Hollywood icon Tommy Lee Jones.

When and Where to Watch ‘The Burial’?

Following its screening at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2022, The Burial is set to open in select theaters nationwide on October 6, 2022. However, if you can’t make it to the cinema, don’t worry – you can watch it on Prime Video beginning October 13, 2022.

Who’s in the Cast of ‘The Burial’?

The film features Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx in the role of the smooth-talking lawyer Willie Gary, while fellow Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones plays Gary’s client, the financially troubled funeral homeowner Jeremiah O’Keefe. Joining them are a talented ensemble cast including Jurnee Smollett, Alan Ruck, Mamoudou Athie, Pamela Reed, Bill Camp, Amanda Warren, Dorian Missick, Tywayne Wheatt, Lance E. Nichols, Keith Jefferson, B.J. Clinkscales, Doug Spearman, Gralen Bryant Banks, David Maldonado, and Billy Slaughter.

Is There a Trailer for ‘The Burial’?

Prime Video released the official trailer for The Burial on September 7, 2023, on their YouTube channel. Within a short time, the two-minute video has garnered over 10 million views. Prominently marketed as a courtroom drama, the trailer hints at Foxx’s finely honed comedic skills, promising not just gripping but also hilarious entertainment. In one scene, we witness O’Keefe’s long-term lawyer of 30 years confronted by Gary, who challenges the lawyer’s prejudiced and outrageous views – views that, unfortunately, went unchallenged in 1990s Mississippi. This theme of approaching a “serious” courtroom setting with levity runs throughout the trailer. Additionally, the video offers a glimpse into the personalities of Willie Gary and Jeremiah O’Keefe. Gary is depicted as outspoken, confident, and a legendary figure within the Black legal community, having not lost a case in 12 years. In contrast, O’Keefe appears reserved, and this case against the Loewen Group marks the first time he has set foot in a courtroom in his long career. Their “unlikely pair” dynamic promises chaos and hilarity as the story unfolds.

What Is ‘The Burial’ About?

The Burial, inspired by true events, revolves around the charismatic yet unconventional lawyer Willie Gary and his client Jeremiah O’Keefe. Set in 1995 Mississippi, the story kicks off with a handshake deal gone awry between O’Keefe and fellow funeral homeowner Ray Loewen of the Loewen Group, a major funeral home conglomerate. The Loewen Group’s expansion leads to the demise of numerous smaller funeral businesses across the state, including O’Keefe’s, leaving many bankrupt. O’Keefe turns to Willie Gary, a quirky personal injury lawyer with experience in unconventional cases. With Gary’s expertise, O’Keefe hopes to sue the Loewen Group for a substantial sum. But can this unlikely duo build a rock-solid case and secure their fortune?

The official synopsis for “The Burial” reads:

“Inspired by true events, when a handshake deal goes sour, funeral homeowner Jeremiah O’Keefe (Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones) enlists charismatic, smooth-talking attorney Willie E. Gary (Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx) to save his family business. Tempers flare and laughter ensues as the unlikely pair bond while exposing corporate corruption and racial injustice in this inspirational, triumphant story.”

What Is the Background of ‘The Burial’?

As previously mentioned, The Burial draws inspiration from the true story of lawyer Willie E. Gary and his client Jeremiah Joseph O’Keefe, who took legal action against the Loewen Group funeral company in 1995. The case gained widespread media attention after being featured in a 1999 New Yorker article, becoming one of Gary’s most notable cases in his illustrious career. For those eager to discover how the case concludes, rest assured, we won’t spoil it here.

In the years following the case, Gary received numerous awards for excellence in his field and earned a spot among the world’s wealthiest lawyers.

Jeremiah Joseph O’Keefe, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 93, led an inspirational life with a distinguished military and business career. He was also a respected philanthropist and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Boy Scouts of America Council.

Who Brought ‘The Burial’ to Life?

The Burial was directed by Maggie Betts, known for Novitiate, and co-written by Betts and Doug Wright. Jamie Foxx serves as a producer alongside Jenette Kahn, Celine Rattray, Adam Richman, Robert Shriver, Trudie Styler, Datari Turner, and Ian Watermeier. Maryse Alberti serves as the cinematographer, with music composed by Michael Abels.

Before Maggie Betts took on the project, Academy Award winner Alexander Payne was initially attached to direct the film but later departed to direct The Holdovers.



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