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Your help is needed for Thurgood Marshall biopic

Hollywood is returning to Buffalo – and it can use your help.

“Marshall,” a biopic on Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, will film in Buffalo in late May for about four weeks with Chadwick Boseman (“42”) in the title role. Pre-production has already started here with a production team expected to remain through June. More than 400 people will be hired for the crew and cast (as extras) and about $4.5 million will be spent in the area.

The courtroom thriller will primarily film downtown and in Niagara Square at the Dillon Courthouse. Scouting for locations continues and director Reginald Hudlin is expected in town this week to make the final decision on all locations, said Rich Wall, director of operations for the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission.

The film commission worked with Hero Films, Chestnut Ridge Productions and Hudlin Entertainment since October to find locations for the movie, which is set in 1940s Connecticut, as well as one scene in Oklahoma. And here’s where area residents can play a role: Vintage cars and homes with interiors from that era are needed, said Tim Clark, commissioner of the film commission.

“We’re looking for frozen-in-time type houses with a unique kitchen, living room or any room like that. We find people are very proud of their homes and preservation techniques they’ve used,” Clark said. Period cars from the 1920s through the 1940s – especially the 1930s – also are needed.

People can email their information – photos are helpful but not necessary – to

Buffalo’s period architecture – including train stations and the federal courthouse – as well as its rural locations are reasons why the area was chosen.

“The Dillon Courthouse is the anchor of movie, but so much of it takes place around the city and countryside. I think what they saw here was the rich architectural legacy that was preserved here and is like no other,” Clark said.

The film focuses on an early case in the career of Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice in United States history.


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