Open Road Films has acquired all U.S. rights to Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman (42, Captain America: Civil War, Get on Up, upcoming Black Panther) as legendary attorney and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Josh Gad (Frozen, The Wedding Ringer, upcoming Beauty and the Beast) as lawyer Sam Friedman.
Joining the previously announced cast of Marshall are Oscar nominee Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, Mother’s Day, upcoming Deepwater Horizon), Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey,” upcoming Beauty and the Beast), Oscar nominee James Cromwell (Babe), Sterling K. Brown (“The People vs. O.J. Simpson”), Keesha Sharp (“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”). Oscar nominee Reginald Hudlin (producer of Django Unchained) is directing and Paula Wagner (Mission: Impossible, The Last Samurai) is producing through her Chestnut Ridge Productions banner along with Jonathan Sanger (The Elephant Man) and Hudlin.
The screenplay for Marshall is a unique collaboration between renowned trial lawyer, Michael Koskoff – and his son – screenwriter Jacob Koskoff (Macbeth), 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.
Marshall began principal photography in Buffalo, New York, on Monday, May 23. The production is utilizing New York State’s Film Production Program. The film is being produced with the full support of the Thurgood Marshall and Samuel Friedman estates, including their children, John W. Marshall and Lauren Friedman.
Financiers of Marshall are Star Light Media, Inc., Hero Film, Ltd. and Sky Legend along with Hunter Ryan and David Ryan. Executive producers are Peter Luo and Belton Lee.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has all international distribution rights for Marshall.