*Open Road Films has acquired U.S. rights to “Marshall,” the Thurgood Marshall film that will star Chadwick Boseman at the pioneering lawyer and Supreme Court justice.
According to Deadline.com, Reginald Hudlin is directing the screenplay from trial lawyer Michael Koskoff and his son Jacob.
Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell, Sterling K. Brown and Keesha Sharp round out the cast. Principal photography is underway in Buffalo, NY.
The film focuses on a true incident in Marshall’s life, 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. On its slate this year are the Sundance documentary “Gleason” and Oliver Stone’s Edward Snowden biopic “Snowden.”