A movie highlighting a court case early in the career of eventual U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall begins filming this week in Buffalo. And as one of the producers told WBFO in a one-on-one interview, additional stars have signed on for the project.
The film, Marshall, which stars Chadwick Boseman as a young Thurgood Marshall, will have a significant portion of its scenes shot inside the former Michael Dillon Courthouse in downtown Buffalo. While scouting locations with staff from the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, producers were immediately impressed by what they found and decided it was the venue where they had to create the movie.
"It was a perfect period courthouse, lots of room in it and completely unoccupied," said producer Jonathan Sanger during an interview with WBFO. "We got help from both the mayor and Senator Schumer and from the governor. They all supported our decision to come here and helped us to get that courthouse and be able to use it."
Also signed on to perform in the film is actor Josh Gad, who plays Marshall's legal colleague Sam Friedman. Additionally, Sterling K. Brown and Keesha Sharp were previously signed on to play roles. Sanger revealed to WBFO some additional actors who have signed on for the production.
"Kate Hudson is going to play Mrs. Strubing, who is a major character in the story, as well as James Cromwell as well as Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey," Sanger said.
Hudson's character, Eleanor Strubing, accuses Marshall's client, played by Brown, of rape. Marshall is sent by the NAACP to represent the accused. Friedman helps make it possible for Marshall to represent the client in the State of Connecticut, where the trial occured.
Later in 1967, Marshall would be become the first African American to sit on the nation's highest court.
The film is being directed by Reginald Hudlin, whose credits include Django Unchained, House Party and Boomerang.
Sanger, who is just one of several producers working on Marshall, has a long list of credits include Vanilla Sky, Flight of the Navigator, The Elephant Man and the 2005 remake of Mel Brooks' The Producers.