Nearly a year ago, pre-production on Aaron Sorkin’s long-gestating true story of The Trial of the Chicago 7 was suddenly shut down in order to allow the acclaimed writer some time to work on his Broadway adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. But a few months later, the movie was getting back together with a stacked cast assembling. Now the movie has added Michael Keaton, and Paramount Pictures has set The Trial of the Chicago 7 release date right at the start of awards season. Find out more below.
For those who don’t know, The Trial of the Chicago 7 follows the infamous 1969 trial of seven men charged by the federal government with conspiracy, arising from the counter-cultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. It was a headline-making affair and was the focus of much controversy and conversation for years to come. It has been in the works for over a decade and was originally intended to be a movie for Steven Spielberg to direct. Now it’s in the hands of Aaron Sorkin, who not only wrote the script, but will be making this his sophomore effort as a director.
The cast of The Trial of the Chicago 7 already includes Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Richard H. Shultz, William Hurt as John N. Mitchell, Mark Rylance as William Kunstler, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale, Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin (a role that previously belonged to Seth Rogen), and Frank Langella as Julius Hoffman. As for Michael Keaton, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed he’ll be playing Ramsey Clark, a progressive lawyer who was also a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century.
Production will take place next year with filming in Chicago and New Jersey, and it’ll have quite a quick turnaround in post-production with Box Office Pro revealing that Paramount Pictures has set the movie for a limited release on September 25, 2020, followed by a wide release on October 2, 2020. With that kind of release date, the movie is likely to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festval, or maybe even at the Venice Film Festival or the smaller Telluride Film Festival. But either way, Paramount thinks they have an awards contender on their hands. We’re just hoping that this movie has been worth the long wait to see it get in front of a camera. [Source]
If you find yourself wanting to draw parallels between today’s political unrest and the tumultuous late ‘60s, Aaron Sorkin is here with a gigantic sketch pad and 1 million sharpened pencils. The West Wing creator is set to direct The Trial of the Chicago 7, which, according to a casting announcement released Friday, stars both your favorite Oscar winners and most beloved comedic actors. The film, based on Sorkin’s screenplay, follows the infamous 1969 trial of a group of counterculture protesters charged with conspiracy and inciting a riot following the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
For starters, Eddie Redmayne will reportedly play anti-war activist (and onetime husband to Jane Fonda) Tom Hayden, while Sacha Baron Cohen has been cast as Youth International Party co-founder Abbie Hoffman, with Seth Rogen as fellow founding YIP member Jerry Rubin. To The Bone actor Alex Sharp helps round out the cast as fellow activist Rennie Davis.
Over on the prosecution’s side, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will portray attorney Richard Schultz. The Chicago 7 were initially known as the Chicago 8 until Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale’s trial was separated from that of his fellow defendants. Seale will be played by Jonathan Majors, star of the upcoming HBO series Lovecraft Country. [Source]
Eddie Redmayne is in early talks to star in Amblin Entertainment’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” sources tell Variety.
Aaron Sorkin is writing and directing, and Sacha Baron Cohen is also in talks to join. Marc Platt is producing the pic.
Following his directorial debut, 2017’s “Molly’s Game,” Steven Spielberg saw Sorkin as the perfect candidate to take over directing duties on “Chicago 7.”
The film is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial transfixed the nation and sparked a conversation about mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government.
Redmayne will play Tom Hayden, the co-founder of the Students for a Democratic Society, who was best known for his role as an anti-war, civil rights, and radical intellectual activist in the 1960s, authoring the Port Huron Statement and eventually standing trial in the Chicago Seven case.
An A-list ensemble had always been a goal for the movie, with talent like Will Smith being considered during the time of the project’s first brush with development. This time around, Sorkin is also looking for big talent.
Set to reenter the world of “Harry Potter” as Newt Scamander in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” Redmayne sought something on the prestige level as his next project, as the actor has always struck a balance in the roles he pursues. Prior to being cast in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” he won an Oscar for playing theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in Focus’ “The Theory of Everything.”
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” bows on Nov. 16. Redmayne recently filmed the Amazon Studios movie “The Aeronauts,” which reteams him with his “Theory of Everything” co-star Felicity Jones.
He is repped by CAA, United Agents, and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein. [Source]