Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights to Marshall, the Thurgood Marshall movie that will star Chadwick Boseman at the iconic lawyer and Supreme Court justice. Reginald Hudlin is directing the screenplay from trial lawyer Michael Koskoff and his son Jacob; the latter penned last year’s Michael Fassbender-Marion Cotillard pic Macbeth.
Joining Boseman and Josh Gad in the cast are Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell, Sterling K. Brown and Keesha Sharp. Paula Wagner is producing via her Chestnut Ridge Productions banner with Jonathan Sanger and Hudlin. Principal photography is underway in Buffalo, NY.
The film centers on a true incident in the life of Marshall, when he was a young lawyer and long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1941, a nearly bankrupt NAACP sent him 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 (Gad), 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 that helped set the groundwork for the civil rights movement to come.
Star Light Media, Hero Film and Sky Legend are financing Marshall along with Hunter Ryan and David Ryan. Peter Luo and Belton Lee are executive producers. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has all international distribution rights.
Open Road released the reigning Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight last year. Its upcoming pics this year include the Sundance docu Gleason and Oliver Stone’s biopic Snowden.