Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star TV Series Based on Queen of Salsa's Celia Cruz is Underway; Puertorican Actors Jeimy Osorio & Modesto Lacen Star Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Weekend B.O. Oct.17-19 - How Did 'Dear White People' Do and What Might it Mean? Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Trailer Debut: 'Black Dynamite' Season 2 Arrives Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Review: 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' Proves That Iron Mike Isn't Afraid to Dress Himself Down Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' Donald Glover Adds to Growing Film Slate - Joins Cast of Ridley Scott's Sci-Fi Thriller 'The Martian' It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) It All Started at a BSU Meeting: Justin Simien on 'Dear White People', Raven-Symoné, and the Black Art House (Interview) The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them The Cast of 'Drumline: A New Beat' Talk How the Original Movie Impacted Them Warner Bros Reveals Details on Its 10 DC Comics Film Adaptations. Will Include a Cyborg Movie Starring Ray Fisher Warner Bros Reveals Details on Its 10 DC Comics Film Adaptations. Will Include a Cyborg Movie Starring Ray Fisher T.I. Teases His 'Ant-Man' Role - "I Play a Superhero's Homeboy" T.I. Teases His 'Ant-Man' Role - "I Play a Superhero's Homeboy" Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project Steve McQueen Goes With Newcomer Devon Terrell to Play the Lead in His HBO Project In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People In Wake of 'Gotham' Controversy Comes 'Painted Down' - New Doc Chronicling Struggles & Hard Fought Victories of Black Stunt People TV One Airs First-Ever Original, Scripted Work of Horror - Trilogy Titled 'The Fright Night Files' TV One Airs First-Ever Original, Scripted Work of Horror - Trilogy Titled 'The Fright Night Files' 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Who Will Play Thurgood Marshall In 'Devil In The Grove' Big Screen Adaptation?

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 17, 2013 at 9:30PM

Another historical drama centered on the lives of black people - this one set in Jim Crow south.
19
Thurgood Marshall

Another historical drama centered on the lives of black people - this one set in Jim Crow south.

Per Deadline, Lionsgate has acquired screen rights to the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Devil In The Grove: Thurgood Marshall, The Groveland Boys, And The Dawn Of A New America, by Gilbert King.

Adam Cooper & Bill Collage have been brought on to write the script adaptation, with Allison Shearmur producing.

Set in 1949, with Florida's booming orange industry as a backdrop, as citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor, the novel tells the all-too-familiar story of four young black men falsely accused of raping a 17-year-old white girl, and the NAACP's legal team's attempts to free them.

It was a case that would bring a 40-something-year-old attorney by the name of Thurgood Marshall, into the deadly fray, as his associates thought it was suicidal for him to get involved in this case, at a time when he was considered irreplaceable to the burgeoning civil rights movement. Although Marshall wasn't one to back down from a fight - certainly not after the Ku Klux Klan murdered one of his NAACP associates involved with the case, and Marshall himself endured numerous death threats. 

The 4 young black men came to be known as "The Groveland Boys."

Deadline says that the project is a "high priority" at Lionsgate, so expect this to be packaged and ready to roll soon.

Obviously, this will present several opportunities for black actors - most especially, what actor will be cast to play Thurgood Marshall. It could be the kind of role that draws critical attention, and awards season consideration.

Again, Marshall was in his 40s when the story takes place - 41 to be exact. So, we're looking for a black actor who can embody him at that age, on screen. Any recommendations for Lionsgate execs?

Recent actors who've played Marshall include Laurence Fishburne, who returned to the stage in 2008 to star in the Broadway production of Thurgood. HBO aired a filmed version of the The 90-minute play in 2011.

And more recently, Danny Glover plays Thurgood Marshall in Stephen Frears' upcoming Muhammad Ali film for HBO.

But the name that immediately came to mind for me, was Jeffrey Wright. Or an *unknown*, which I think I'd actually prefer.

Who else? 


Shadow & ActNewsletter