Open Road Films has recently acquired US rights to finance the upcoming biopic Marshall, which tells the story of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American person to ever be elected as a Supreme Court Justice. Marshall, one of the most prominent figures of the Civil Rights Movement, played a key role in overturning legal segregation and racism, winning important cases like Chambers v. Florida and Smith v. Allwright. However, his most important victory came from winning the Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education, in which the court unanimously ruled that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” providing a future legal foundation for the Civil Rights Movement.
The movie will be focusing on an incident in Marshall’s (Chadwick Boseman, of 42 and Captain America: Civil War) early career as a lawyer, in which a nearly bankrupt NAACP sends him to conservative Connecticut as the representative of a black chauffeur being accused of sexual assault and attempted murder. Facing a heavily segregationist court, as well as the media hounding his actions, Marshall is paired up with Samuel Friedman (Josh Gad), a young Jewish lawyer who has yet to try a case. It’s a story about overcoming all the odds, as these two lawyers must take on prejudice itself, eventually setting the groundwork for a brighter future in racial equality.
In addition to Boseman and Gad, other additions to the Marshall cast will include Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell, Keesha Sharp and Sterling K. Brown. The movie will be directed by Reginald Hudlin who served as a producer on Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, and will be produced by Paula Wagner via Chestnut Ridge Productions. The screenplay has been written by screenwriter Jacob Koskoff (Macbeth) in collaboration with his father Michael Koskoff, the latter a renowned Connecticut-based trial lawyer. The movie itself has full support and blessing of the families of both Marshall and Friedman, so here’s hoping it manages to honor their legacies.