Marshall Trailer: Chadwick Boseman Is Thurgood Marshall

Open Road Films has released the first trailer and eight new photos for the upcoming biopic Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman. While superhero fans will get to see this talented actor portray T’challa in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War next year, this year they’ll get to see him play a real-life hero, attorney Thurgood Marshall. Before making history as the first African-American justice to sit on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall took on one of his most important cases ever in the early 1940s.

Long before he sat on the United States Supreme Court or claimed victory in Brown v. Board of Education, Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) was a young rabble-rousing attorney for the NAACP. The new motion picture, Marshall, is the true story of his greatest challenge in those early days, a fight he fought alongside attorney Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), a young lawyer with no experience in criminal law: the case of black chauffeur Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), accused by his white employer, Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson), of sexual assault and attempted murder.

The supporting cast includes Dan Stevens as Lorin Willis, who prosecuted the case against Joseph Spell, James Cromwell as the judge presiding over the case, Keesha Sharp as Thurgood Marshall‘s wife, Buster, Rozonda Thomas as prominent African-American author Zora Neale Hurston and Jussie Smolett as author, poet and activist Langston Hughes. Open Road Films has set Marshall for release on October 13, which puts it up against Paramount Pictures’ mother!, Universal Pictures’ Happy Death Day and STX Entertainment’s The Foreigner. It will also debut between Blade Runner 2049 and My Little Pony on October 6, and an October 20 weekend with six wide releases, Warner Bros.’ Geostorm, Sony’s Granite Mountain Hotshots, PureFlix’s Same Kind of Different As Me, Universal’s The Snowman, Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween and The Weinstein Compan’s War With Grandpa.

Reginald Hudlin directs Marshall, his first feature directorial effort since 2002′s Serving Sara, although he has been keeping busy in other areas, producing Django Unchained and The Boondocks, while becoming a prolific TV director, helming episodes of New Girl, Modern Family, The Middle and more. It was also announced earlier this month that Reginald Hudlin will direct a Shadowman movie for Valiant Comics. The screenplay for Marshall is a unique collaboration between renowned trial lawyer, Michael Koskoff, and his son, screenwriter Jacob Koskoff (Macbeth). 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.

Reginald Hudlin also produces alongside Paula Wagner and Jonathan Sanger, with Peter Luo and Belton Lee serving as executive producers. While he has gained a huge fan base for playing T’challa/Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman is also becoming quite adept at portraying historical figures. Marshall marks the third biopic for the talented actor, following his breakout performance in 42, as Jackie Robinson, the first big league baseball player to break the color barrier, and his 2014 biopic Get on Up, where he played the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. Take a look at the new trailer and photos for Marshall below.

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The Big Sick

Thumb big sick 2017

It sounds impossible—too melodramatic, too crazy—but it’s true. Actor and writer Kumail Nanjiani fell in love with his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Emily V. Gordon, when she was in a coma. It also sounds impossible that such a story would make for a crowd-pleasing comedy, but that’s exactly what “The Big Sick” is, and so much more.

Director Michael Showalter’s film defies categorization. You could call it a romantic comedy and that would be accurate, because there are indeed elements of romance and comedy. It mines clashes across cultures and generations for laughs that are specific to Nanjiani’s experience but also resonate universally. “The Big Sick” also functions as an astutely insightful exploration of how we live now with the Pakistan-born comic, starring as himself, enduring racism that’s both casual and pointed.

But the pivotal plot point in “The Big Sick” is a potentially deadly illness—hence the title—which provides not only drama and catharsis but also dark humor, and it allows the film’s characters to evolve in ways that feel substantial and real.

That’s a lot of different kinds of movies at once, and Showalter—working from a screenplay by Nanjiani and his wife, Gordon—gets his arms around all of it with dazzling dexterity. On the heels of his sweetly heartbreaking 2015 dramedy “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” Showalter once again makes tough tonal shifts with great grace. Again and again, he finds that laughter-through-tears sweet spot, often in the unlikeliest of places.

But it all starts with the script. Nanjiani and Gordon have dared to make themselves vulnerable here, allowing us an intimate glimpse into a traumatic and frightening time in their lives. They imbue moments both large and small with such an abiding honesty, though, that “The Big Sick” never feels like shameless navel-gazing. The events that ultimately brought the two together are extreme, but the depiction of them always rings true. 

And Nanjiani’s front-and-center presence is a crucial component in the film’s emotional connection. Even if you had no idea “The Big Sick” was based on his real-life courtship, Nanjiani exudes an authenticity and a directness that are hugely appealing. He’s part of the ensemble on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and he’s had a number of supporting film roles in recent years, including a particularly, um, memorable appearance as a massage therapist in last summer’s “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.” But this will make him a star, and it should.

At the start of “The Big Sick,” though, the on-screen Kumail is struggling to make ends meet, working as an Uber driver by day and a stand-up comic by night. He sleeps on an air mattress in a Chicago apartment that’s a slight notch above college squalor with his needy roommate, Chris (Kurt Braunohler). One night at the comedy club, he connects with the smart and beautiful Emily (Zoe Kazan), who’d inadvertently heckled him during his set. Kazan and Nanjiani have crackling chemistry from the start, a sweet and easy banter that only grows more enjoyable the more time they spend together.

With a deadpan playfulness, they repeatedly insist they’re not dating, even though it’s clear they’re falling for each other. Emily, a grad student with plans to become a therapist, is no giggly rom-com heroine seeking approval: “I love it when men test me on my taste,” she zings when Kumail quizzes her on her favorite movies. It’s a testament to Kazan’s instincts and presence that while her character is lying in a hospital bed for much of the film’s midsection, you still feel her influence.

Before that happens, though, we also see what Kumail’s life is like with his family: devout Muslims who insist on arranging a marriage for him. His older brother, Naveed (Adeel Akhtar), already has a wife and seems content. His parents (Bollywood legend Anupam Kher and theater veteran Zenobia Shroff, both lovely) just want him to be happy—as long as he carries on their cultural traditions. Caught between Pakistani and American identities, between Islam and agnosticism, Kumail is unsure of who he is—but he knows he can’t tell his family about the white woman who’s become so important to him.

And then, Emily gets sick—a sudden and unexplainable illness that forces doctors to place her in a medically-induced coma. This allows us to meet her parents—the nerdy, down-to-Earth Terry (Ray Romano) and the feisty, no-nonsense Beth (Holly Hunter)—and it places Kumail in the uncomfortable position of getting to know them under dire circumstances. Again, this might not sound like comedy gold. But the way Nanjiani, Romano and Hunter navigate their characters’ daily highs and lows—and dance around each other—is simultaneously pitch perfect and consistently surprising. Romano is great in an unusual dramatic role, but Hunter is just a fierce force of nature, finding both the anger and the pathos in this frustrated, frightened mom.

The details in the hospital scenes make them feel particularly vivid: the colorful quilt from Emily’s childhood bedroom that her mother brings from North Carolina to cover her during her comatose state, or the yacht rock hits piping through tinny speakers in the bleak, cramped waiting room. The situation would feel like hell no matter where you are, but such touches make the characters’ anxiety seem endless.

Which brings us to the only slight drawback: the running time. “The Big Sick” is a Judd Apatow production, and like a number of movies he’s been involved with over the years (“Funny People,” “This Is 40”), it goes on a tad longer than it should. Some tightening, especially toward the end, might have made a great film truly excellent.

But Apatow also has a knack for spotting up-and-coming talent and using his considerable influence to help foster it on the biggest stage and under the brightest lights. He’s done this with Lena Dunham (“Girls”) and Amy Schumer (“Trainwreck”), and he’s done it again with Nanjiani. We’re the ones, though, who truly benefit.


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Eric Newman & Ben Silverman Team With Chris Blackwell On Jamaican Music TV Series

Iconic Jamaican music and its local and global impact will be the subject of a new TV series from Narcos showrunner/executive producer Eric Newman; producer Ben Silverman, Chairman and Co-CEO of Propagate Content (Apple’s Planet of the Apps); and Island Records founder Chris Blackwell.

Written by Sascha Penn (Power), the untitled drama will take a multi-perspective look at the political discord that followed in the wake of Jamaican independence from Britain in 1962 and the birth of a local music industry.


Newman and Silverman originally pitched a show about the origin of reggae music to Vivendi-owned companies Universal Music Group and Studiocanal who had been looking for projects to collaborate on.

Newman has a first-look feature producing deal with Studiocanal, which will be financing the development of the proposed series, with Chairman and CEO Didier Lupfer serving as executive producer. Meanwhile, UMG has an extensive catalogue the show can draw upon. UMG acquired the Island record label — home to recording artists Bob Marley and U2 — and its vast library of Jamaican music when it purchased parent company Polygram Records to whom Blackwell had sold in 1989.

The series will be shopped to premiere cable and streaming services. Penn executive produces, working closely with Marlon James —  the Jamaican born author of the award-winning novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings — who also will executive produce.

“I am thrilled by the team we have assembled and we are honored to be entrusted by Chris Blackwell to tell an amazing story about a little island that made, and continues to make, a lot of noise,” Newman said.

Blackwell was raised on Jamaica in one of its oldest families. At the center of almost everything he has accomplished has been a fierce commitment to benefit his home country. His story will be featured prominently in the show.

“This is a groundbreaking premium series focused on an extraordinary man who brought underrepresented music and ideas to the forefront of popular culture,” Silverman said. “Sascha Penn and Marlon James are perfect collaborators for the extraordinary Chris Blackwell, Eric and me.”

Northside Services’ Jeff Berg introduced Blackwell to the project and negotiating the deal for the trio. The project will be supervised on the Studiocanal front by Ron Halpern, Francoise Guyonnet, and Shana Eddy-Grouf.


Misty Copeland To Guest Judge On NBC’s ‘World Of Dance’

Ballet superstar Misty Copeland is set to be a guest judge on two episodes of NBC’s new competition series World of Dance.

She will join for the July 18 and July 25 episodes, during round three of the competition “The Cut” where where the competitors face the deepest and most intense cut of the season. More than half of the acts will be sent home, and only the top two acts from each division will move on to the Division Final. She joins fellow judge/executive producer Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, NE-YO and host/mentor Jenna Dewan Tatum.

World of Dance contestants compete for a grand prize of $1 million.

Copeland, the first African American principal ballerina in the history of American Ballet Theatre, has been featured in numerous television programs and publications, including CBS Sunday Morning, 60 Minutes, and Today, among others.

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