At first blush, this has all the marks of the sort of tepid, respectful, boring prestige picture that's normally a huge turn-off. Director Gary Ross (Pleasantville, Seabiscuit) will reteam with Tobey Maguire for The Crusaders, a film about the lawyers who litigated the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education (of Topeka, but who keeps track?). That, of course, was when the Court unanimously held that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.

Maguire will play idealistic young lawyer Jack Greenberg, who teamed with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall (Terrence Howard was rumored for that role, but that seems to have gone away) to fight the segregationists. This project has been kicking around for a while, and Topher Grace was previously attached to star in what is now Maguire's role.

Ross and Maguire's Seabiscuit, which I thought was precisely the sort of unimaginative, tediously reverent historical Oscar-bait that the Academy loves but anyone with any taste can't stand, bored the pants off me. This sounds like a similar sort of project -- though on the other hand, having spent significant time venerating Brown v. Board in law school, I'm curious to see what Hollywood will do with this story. Sort of in the same way a geologist might be fascinated with The Core, y'know?