The Burial is a 2023 American legal drama film directed by Maggie Betts and written by Betts and Doug Wright. It is based on the true story of lawyer Willie E. Gary and his client Jeremiah Joseph O’Keefe’s lawsuit against the Loewen funeral company, as documented in the 1999 New Yorker article of the same name by Jonathan Harr. It stars Jamie Foxx as Gary, Tommy Lee Jones as O’Keefe, Jurnee Smollett, Mamoudou Athie, and Bill Camp.
It is scheduled to premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2023, and is scheduled to be released by Amazon Studios in a limited release on October 6, 2023, prior to streaming via Prime Video on October 13, 2023.
In 1995, Willie E. Gary, an unconventional personal injury lawyer with an impressive track record, helps bankrupt funeral homeowner Jeremiah Joseph O’Keefe sue the Loewen funeral company led by Raymond Loewen as a result of a contractual dispute. Gary ultimately won a $500 million jury verdict and the Loewen company filed for bankruptcy.
- Jamie Foxx as Willie E. Gary
- Tommy Lee Jones as Jerry O’Keefe
- Jurnee Smollett
- Mamoudou Athie
- Bill Camp as Raymond Loewen
- Dorian Missick
- Pamela Reed
- Amanda Warren
- Jim Klock
- Alan Ruck
- Billy Slaughter
- Lance E. Nichols as James E. Graves Jr.
The film is an adaptation of Jonathan Harr’s article “The Burial”, published in 1999 by The New Yorker. The project was originally developed at Warner Bros. In March 2018, Amazon Studios announced it was developing the film with Doug Wright writing the script and Alexander Payne in talks to direct. By November 2020, Maggie Betts came on board to direct with Jamie Foxx attached to star and produce. In October 2021, Tommy Lee Jones joined the cast in a role Harrison Ford was considered for. In November, Jurnee Smollett was added to the cast. Principal photography took place in New Orleans, starting in March 2022.
The Burial is scheduled to premiere at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2023. It is scheduled to be released by Amazon Studios in a limited release on October 6, 2023, prior to streaming via Prime Video on October 13, 2023.
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