Thurgood Marshall, who would go on from the case re-created in “Marshall” to argue the groundbreaking Brown vs. Board of Education public school segregation case before the Supreme Court — and, of course, to eventually join the high court itself — has been depicted in more than a dozen movies and TV shows, portrayed by a gallery of top-notch actors that includes Joe Morton, Danny Glover, Laurence Fishburne and Sidney Poitier. Several of these have been little more than cameos, but there have been two notable standouts.
In the one-man show “Thurgood” (2011), Fishburne stars as Marshall, who shortly before his appointment to the Supreme Court tells of his involvement in the civil rights movement and the people he met along the way. The HBO drama was nominated for three Emmys, and won an Image Award for Fishburne.
“Separate But Equal,” a TV miniseries from 1991, starred Poitier as Marshall as he was involved in Brown vs. Board of Education. The program, which also starred Burt Lancaster and Richard Kiley, was nominated for three Golden Globes and eight Emmys, winning for casting and for the category then called drama/comedy special and miniseries.
Coming up: Lionsgate has been developing “Devil in the Grove,” author Gilbert King’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book about a 1949 Florida case in which Marshall and a team from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund went up against the KKK and a murderous sheriff to defend four young black men accused of raping a white woman. Anton Corbijn, the Dutch director known for “The American” and “A Most Wanted Man,” has been attached to direct.