“What I loved about the script when I read it is it didn’t feel like I had to know who Thurgood Marshall was in order to enjoy the story,” said Chadwick Boseman of what attracted him to the lead role in Marshall.

“Once I saw that, I was like, now I have a certain amount of freedom to explore who was he in this time period,” the star of the upcoming Black Panther added of his 1940-set performance as the future Supreme Court Justice.

Onstage at Deadline’s 7th annual The Contenders awards-season event at the DGA Theater, Boseman was joined by Marshall director Reginald Hudlin, producer Paula Wagner and songwriter Diane Warren.

The Open Roads-distributed Marshall takes place 14 years before the lawyer’s barrier breaking Brown v. Board of Education case, with Boseman’s Marshall in Connecticut trying to defend a black chauffeur accused of raping his white employer. With a justice system that is stacked against him even speaking in court, Marshall has to combat prejudice and the insidious manner it infects almost all.

Released on October 17, the film also features Sterling K. Brown, Josh Gad, Kat Hudson and Dan Stevens, and James Cromwell.

Take a look at the video above to see more of my conversation with the core creatives of Marshall and how this historically powerful drama came to be.