Having already played Jackie Robinson and James Brown, Chadwick Boseman is taking on another real-life icon in a courtroom thriller about Thurgood Marshall.
Under the direction of Reginald Hudlin, Boseman stars as the legendary attorney in “Marshall,” a film that focuses on a case early in the career of the Supreme Court justice.
Via the press announcement: “As the nation teeters on the brink of WWII, a nearly bankrupt NAACP sends Marshall to conservative Connecticut to defend a black chauffeur against his wealthy socialite employer in a sexual assault and attempted murder trial that quickly became tabloid fodder. In need of a high profile victory but muzzled by a segregationist court, Marshall is partnered with Samuel Friedman, a young Jewish lawyer who has never tried a case. Marshall and Friedman struggle against a hostile storm of fear and prejudice, driven to discover the truth in the sensationalized trial which helped set the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement to come.”
Joining Boseman in front of the camera are Sterling K. Brown as Joseph Spell, the defendant at the center of the above case; Keesha Sharp will play Buster Marshall, Thurgood’s wife; and Josh Gad will play Samuel Friedman, the young Jewish lawyer who partners with Marshall on the case.
And based on the below tweet he posted to his account, it looks like Jussie Smollett is also part of the cast, playing Langston Hughes.
— Jussie Smollett (@JussieSmollett) June 9, 2016
“Marshall” is being financed by China-based Super Hero Films, Ltd. with Paula Wagner (“Mission Impossible”) producing through her Chestnut Ridge Productions banner.
Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger, and Super Hero Films’ Jun Dong are also producing from a screenplay by trial lawyer Michael Koskoff and his son Jacob Koskoff.
The film is being produced with the full cooperation of the Thurgood Marshall and Samuel Friedman estates.
Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights.
No ETA at this time, but I’d expect a premiere in some time in 2017.
By the way, there’s a second movie featuring Marshall as a young lawyer that’s in the works. Lionsgate is developing an adaptation of Gilbert King’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Devil in the Grove,” with Anton Corbijn to direct.