Star-on-the-rise Chadwick Boseman is making all the right moves. He came to prominence on the back of his Black Panther role first glimpsed in the recent Captain America: Civil Warand will square off against an emo Michael B. Jordan in this February’s solo film. But an actor’s only as good as the Serious Movie they use their blockbuster clout to get made, and for Chadwick Boseman (how great is that name? I want to only ever write it in full), that movie is going to be the Thurgood Marshall biopic Marshall. And now we can get an impression as to how this pivot from Civil War to Civil Rights is working out for Chadwick Boseman, as a trailer has surfaced online.

He portrays a young Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justice-to-be working as a headstrong and unapologetic lawyer for wrongfully accused black men. The film revolves around one of Marshall’s toughest and most important (jurisprudentially speaking) cases ever: chauffeur Joseph Spell (portrayed here by American Crime Story’s Sterling K. Brown) was charged with sexual assault and attempted murder following an outcry from his white employer (Kate Hudson), and it falls to Marshall to clear his good name. To do that, he’ll need a nonthreatening white face to slap on the front of this case, and he finds the whitest face of all in Josh Gad as his co-attorney Sam Friedman. But the bigoted community doesn’t take too kindly to all these mouthy book-learned folk comin’ to town and stirring up controversy, and the beatdowns come right on cue.

Listen to interviews with black actors and directors, and it seems that these are the films they want most to make: projects with drama and pathos, yes, but moreover, those that speak to the struggles faced by the community then and now. Its setting is historical, but it’s a modern narrative of black-and-white enmity all the same.

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