‘People v. O.J.’ Star Sterling K. Brown Joins Chadwick Boseman in Thurgood Marshall Biopic (Exclusive)

Reginald Hudlin is directing the courtroom drama “Marshall,” which co-stars Josh Gad

Last Updated: May 4, 2016 @ 5:01 PM

Sterling K. Brown is switching sides in the courtroom following his acclaimed performance as Christopher Darden in FX’s hit miniseries “The People v. OJ Simpson,” as he has signed on to join Chadwick Boseman and Josh Gad in “Marshall,” the biopic about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, TheWrap has exclusively learned.

Reginald Hudlin will direct from a script by attorney Michael Koskoff and his son Jacob Koskoff. Super Hero Films is financing the project, which Paula Wagner is producing under her Chestnut Ridge Productions banner. The film, which boasts the support of Marshall’s family, will start production this month in Buffalo, NY.

Brown will play Joseph Spell, an itinerant worker newly relocated from Louisiana to Connecticut, where he’s accused of the rape and attempted murder of a wealthy Greenwich socialite. The high-profile 1941 trial brought a young Thurgood Marshall (Boseman), counsel for a struggling NAACP, to Bridgeport, CT, where he teamed with a Jewish insurance lawyer named Sam Friedman (Gad) to defend Spell.

The controversial trial, which helped set the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement, is set against a backdrop of Northern racism and anti-Semitism as the U.S. prepares to enter World War II.

Brown recently wrapped M. Night Shyamalan‘s supernatural thriller “Split” as well as Dan Fogelman‘s untitled NBC pilot, which is awaiting a series pick-up. In addition to his impressive turn as Darden in the “OJ Simpson” series, Brown has drawn strong notices for his lead role in the play “Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Brown, who will surely be in the Emmy conversation this year, is represented by Innovative Artists and Jennifer Wiley-Stockton of JWS Entertainment.