Open Road’s Thurgood Marshall biopic, “Marshall,” will hit theaters on Oct. 13 in a wide release.
Chadwick Boseman stars as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. The film also features Josh Gad as lawyer Sam Friedman, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell, Keesha Sharp and “This Is Us” star Sterling K. Brown. Reginald Hudlin is directing the film, with Paula Wagner producing through her Chestnut Ridge Productions banner along with Jonathan Sanger and Hudlin.
The film covers Thurgood Marshall’s early years as a young lawyer tasked with defending a black chauffeur in a highly publicized sexual assault case. He worked on behalf of a nearly bankrupt NAACP as the nation braced for World War II. Paired with young Jewish lawyer Friedman in a segregationist court, the two are forced to fight prejudice as they work their case — which helped set the stage the future Civil Rights Movement.
Star Light Media, Inc. is financing the film along with Hero Film, Ltd., Sky Legend, Hunter Ryan and David Ryan.
Peter Luo and Belton Lee are executive producers.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has international distribution rights for the film which commenced principal photography in Buffalo, New York, on Monday, May 23. The production is taking advantage of the state’s Film Production Program.
The script was written by trial lawyer Michael Koskoff and his son, screenwriter Jacob Koskoff (“Macbeth”).
The Thurgood Marshall and Samuel Friedman estates, along with their children John W. Marshall and Lauren Friedman, fully support the project.
“I can’t wait for the world to see this movie,” Hudlin said in a statement. “It’s a thriller, not a biopic, about an early case of one of the greatest lawyers in American history. In a time when we need heroes who fight for justice, ‘Marshall’ is an inspirational movie that brings people together. And it’s a lot more fun than anyone expects.”
“Thurgood Marshall spent his whole life fighting for justice and his story has never been more relevant,” Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg added in the statement. “We are living in volatile times and this film, as well as the entire career of Justice Marshall, serves as a potent reminder that fighting injustice is as important today as it was before and during the Civil Rights Movement. We are incredibly proud of all the work that went into ‘Marshall’ – particularly the top-notch filmmaking from director Reginald Hudlin and producer Paula Wagner, as well as fantastic performances from Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Sterling K. Brown, Dan Stevens, James Cromwell and the entire cast. We are looking forward to sharing this film with all Americans and audiences around the world.”