Open Road Films just picked up the U.S. distribution rights to Marshall which is now shooting in Buffalo, New York. The dramatic film stars Chadwick Boseman (Captain America: Civil War, Get On Up) in the title role as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The cast also includes Josh Gad (Frozen, The Wedding Ringer) as lawyer Sam Friedman along with Dan Stevens (soon to be seen opposite Emma Watson in Beauty and the Beast), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous), Sterling K. Brown (The People v. O.J. Simpson), James Cromwell (Murder in the First), and Keesha Sharp (The Player). Reginald Hudlin is directing from a script by trial lawyer Michael Koskoff and screenwriter Jacob Koskoff (Macbeth).
Both the Thurgood Marshall and Samuel Friedman estates are fully supporting the feature film, as are Thurgood Marshall’s son, John W. Marshall, and Samuel Friedman’s daughter, Lauren Friedman. Hudlin, Paula Wagner, and Jonathan Sanger are producing Marshall, with Peter Luo and Belton Lee executive producing.
The Plot: Marshall is based on a true incident in the life of Thurgood Marshall, when he was a young lawyer, long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. 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.