Open Road Films has released the second full-length trailer for Marshall, the biopic about the historic rise of eventual first African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Before he was cast as T'Challa/ Black Panther for Captain America: Civil War, Chadwick Boseman had started to carve out a career in playing barrier breaking and influential figures of African-American history. He made his big debut playing sports icon Jackie Robinson in 2013's 42, then followed it up with a completely show-stopping transformation into the "Godfather of Soul" James Brown for 2014's Get On Up. Before he headlines one of the biggest superhero solo movies starring an African-American in next February's Black Panther, Boseman takes a chance to return to his biopic roots with Marshall, a chronicling of one of the first major cases in the career of the budding Supreme Court justice.
Open Road released the initial Marshall trailer back in June, allowing it to play in front of the bigger adult films of the summer like Detroit and The Big Sick. With just over a month to go before the film's release, a second trailer has been released, and it's practically identical to the first one with a few minor changes. The biggest change is that this trailer is preceded by a slightly-awkward introduction featuring Boseman and his co-stars Sterling K. Brown (American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, This is Us) and Josh Gad (Frozen, Beauty and the Beast) laughing it up, which feels very tonally different from the tense racial drama of the rest of the trailer. Once the actual footage gets underway, the film continues to look like a rock solid biopic, with Boseman giving another powerhouse performance.
Marshall takes place well before Thurgood took the stand in Washington, and even well before he helped win Brown vs. The Board of Education, a landmark case that helped desegregate schools across the nation. The film goes well back into the historic figure's roots, when he defended a black chauffeur, in a sexual assault and attempted murder case against a white socialite woman (Kate Hudson). As expected, Boseman seems to capture the swagger and confidence of an ambitious man dealing with adversity from all angles.
It would be surprising if Boseman's performance was below the standard needed to generate even the most basic of awards buzz. The thing that will sink or swim Marshall's prospects overall as an Oscar movie is whether director Reginald Hudlin can help the film overcome the typical generic biopic trappings and make his picture truly transcendent. Hudlin, who directed films like The Great White Hype and House Party in the 1990s, hasn't made a film since the 2002 Matthew Perry dud Serving Sara. Though he did help produce Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, his track record on television in the 21st century is more relevant, directing several episodes of Everybody Hates Chris, The Bernie Mac Show, and Modern Family. Hopefully Marshall will feel less like a TV movie and more like a powerful historical epic ala Selma when it hits theaters in October.
Source: Open Road Films
- Marshall (2017) release date: Oct 13, 2017