‘Marshall’ director Reginald Hudlin will helm the project from Hyde Park Entertainment and Revelations Entertainment.
Morgan Freeman is taking on the role of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Powell, a biopic from Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment.
Reginald Hudlin, who is coming off the Thurgood Marshall biopic Marshall, will direct the drama, which will be produced by Amritraj and Lori McCreary, Freeman’s partner at Revelations Entertainment.
Ed Whitworth wrote the script that was on the 2011 Black List and is set during Powell’s tenure as Secretary of State in the George W. Bush White House.
Powell, who went from respected Army general to the first African-American Secretary of State, initially opposed the U.S.’ invasion of Iraq, not believing dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. But he capitulated to hawkish voices in the White House and made a now-infamous case for war to the United Nations Security Council. The evidence he presented was later discredited, and Powell has described the event as a low point in his career.
The script tells of the lead-up to his UN presentation.
Executive producing the film are Hyde Park’s Priya Amritraj and Addison Mehr. Freeman is also exec producing, along with Revelation’s Kelly Mendelsohn.
Hyde Park is in postproduction on Prey, a thriller which is a co-production with Blumhouse, and is developing an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull, which will star Saoirse Ronan and Annette Bening.
Hudlin’s Marshall stars Chadwick Boseman and Josh Gad in the story of a career-defining case for the man who would one day become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. He is repped by CAA.
Freeman and McCreary’s Revelation Entertainment has produced such films as Invictus, in which Freeman portrayed another prominent black figure, Nelson Mandela, and is behind such shows as CBS’ Madam Secretary, which is now in its fourth season, and NatGeo’s The Story of Us With Morgan Freeman.
Freeman, repped by CAA, last appeared on the big screen in the crime caper comedy Going in Styleand will appear in Disney’s upcoming fantasy The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
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Chance the Rapper continues to show love for his city.
The 24-year-old Chicago native bought all of the Marshall tickets for the entire day at two different theaters on the day of the film’s release. He made the announcement via a press release that he wrote himself and posted to Twitter. He also teased that something special might be going down at the 3 p.m. showing: “Come to the one at 3 I’m good at surprises and stuff,” he said.
This isn’t the first time that Chance the Rapper purchased a whole lot of tickets for people to see a movie for free, either. He bought a whole day’s worth of tickets to Get Out showings back in February at one of the same theaters that he promoted this time around. It might be wise to start camping out at the Chatham 14 Theaters on 87th Street for all future movie releases just in case.
Marshall is now in theaters and stars Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, and Sterling K. Brown. You can watch the trailer for the film above.
Don’t look now, but Supreme Court justices are becoming popular culture avatars.
First, Ruth Bader Ginsburg transmogrified into the Notorious RBG and now a magnetic Chadwick Boseman plays Thurgood Marshall as a confident and charismatic young attorney buff enough to be an action hero in the energetic and audience friendly “Marshall.”
Directed by veteran Reginald Hudlin, “Marshall” shrewdly concentrates on a single highly dramatic case early in Marshall’s career when he was a kind of “Have Law Books, Will Travel” attorney for the struggling NAACP, criss-crossing the country with a briefcase full of legal tomes defending clients whose only crime was their race.
Hudlin, better known these days for his prolific TV work, has not directed a theatrical feature for many years, but he was clearly drawn to the Marshall project out of respect for the attorney who won the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case and in 1967 became the first African American appointed to the Supreme Court.
But the director, whose forte is comedy, was not going to make a dry look at a great man. Instead, working from a script by Michael Koskoff and Jacob Koskoff, he tells his story in crowd-pleasing broad strokes, in a sense crossing “Eyes on the Prize” and “Perry Mason” with some laughs thrown into the mix.
Star Boseman, with a “Black Panther” feature in his future, has made something of a career playing famous folks like Jackie Robinson (in “42”) and James Brown (in “Get on Up”). He’s introduced, muscular back to the camera, ironing his own shirt. But no matter how fit carrying around all those heavy law books has made him, this is a man not to be defined by his physique.
Nothing if not a passionate and committed advocate for equality under the law, Marshall, even at this early stage of his career, specialized in speaking truth to power. Unassailably confident, even cocky, he believes in taking charge and getting things done.
The year is 1941, Marshall is 32, and next on his agenda is a case in tony Greenwich, Conn., tailor-made for tabloid headlines, which it has been getting.
Wealthy white socialite Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson), a Bryn Mawr graduate no less, has accused her black chauffeur, Joseph Spell (Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown), of raping and then trying to kill her.
But though newspapers tossed around phrases like “lurid orgy” and “night of horror,” the uneducated Spell insists to Marshall that he never touched the woman in question.