Actor Chadwick Boseman (“42,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Get on Up”) will star as legendary attorney Thurgood Marshall in MARSHALL, a courtroom thriller directed by Oscar® nominee Reginald Hudlin (producer of “Django Unchained”). MARSHALL focuses on a provocative case in the early career of one of America’s greatest legal minds. The film is financed by China-based Super Hero Films, Ltd. with Paula Wagner (“Mission Impossible,” “The Last Samurai”) producing through her Chestnut Ridge Productions banner. Additional producers include Hudlin, Jonathan Sanger (“The Elephant Man”), and Super Hero Films’ Jun Dong.
The screenplay for MARSHALL is a unique collaboration between renowned trial lawyer, Michael Koskoff, and his son, screenwriter Jacob Koskoff (The Weinstein Company’s “Macbeth”). MARSHALL begins production in Los Angeles this week before the holidays, then resumes principal photography in late spring after Hudlin completes his producing duties for the 88th Annual Academy Awards®.
“Thurgood Marshall was a man who took his life in his hands every time he came to a town to bring justice,” said Hudlin. “Marshall was a cowboy who used his law books as guns. He was the smartest guy in the room of any room he was in. But he wasn’t a punk and didn’t hesitate to throw a punch if the occasion called for it.
“It’s exciting to have Chadwick bring his extraordinary gifts to this remarkably relevant story,” added Hudlin.
MARSHALL is one in a slate of features financed by Super Hero Films, a China-based collective created by Peter Luo, CEO; Sun Li Li, the principal of China Wit Media Co., Ltd.; Pan Lai, the principal of Hero Film, Ltd.; and Xu Yan the principal of Star Light Media Co., Ltd. Serving as executive producers are Super Hero Films’ Luo, Jialing Deng, and Beely Lee.
“Chadwick Boseman is one of the most exciting young actors of his generation, and Reginald Hudlin is a multi-faceted and very talented artist. I’m privileged to be working with them in bringing an epic moment from Thurgood Marshall’s life to the screen,” said Wagner. “We are also grateful to our Chinese partners at Super Hero Films who immediately recognized the power of this story and its ability to transcend cultural and national boundaries.”
MARSHALL is 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 is being produced with the full support of the Thurgood Marshall and Samuel Friedman estates, including their children, John W. Marshall and Lauren Friedman.
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