The first images from Netflix’s upcoming political drama, The Trial of the Chicago 7, have now been released. The Trial of the Chicago 7 finds master screenwriter Aaron Sorkin taking the director’s chair for only the second time in his career, as well as penning the screenplay, because of course. The movie is based on the true story of the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants, who were charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, which arise 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.
Aaron Sorkin has amassed a very impressive ensemble cast for the project, which includes the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan), Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman), Jeremy Strong (The Big Short), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Luce), Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon), William Hurt (A History of Violence), and Michael Keaton (Spotlight).
The recently released image depict the cast in their respective guises, giving us a good look at Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays prosecutor Richard Schultz, Sacha Baron Cohen and Jeremy Strong as Yippie activists Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, respectively, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Bobby Seale, respectively, alongside defense attorney William Kunstler (played by Mark Rylance), and finally Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, veteran of the Free Speech Movement.
The official synopsis for The Trial of the Chicago 7 reads as follows: “What was intended to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest-including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale-were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.”
The release of these images comes closely following Netflix’s recent purchase of The Trial of the Chicago 7, with the streaming giant reportedly paying a staggering $56 million for the movie. Paramount was initially going to be the domestic distributor, with plans previously in place for the movie and to receive a theatrical release in a host of international markets. These plans were sadly wrecked by the ongoing global circumstances, with a deal being finalized that will bring the movie straight to people at home on Netflix.
Along with the move to Netflix also came word that The Trial of The Chicago 7 would be released in October, suggesting that the streaming service has awards season ambitions for the star-studded political drama.
Sorkin is well-known for his writing skills, having injected his talent for dialogue into the likes of the Academy Award winning The Social Network, the sports drama Moneyball, and the popular political television series The West Wing. His directorial debut, Molly’s Game, released back in 2017, was met with much critical acclaim.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 is due for release on Netflix on October 16, 2020. This comes to us courtesy of Vanity Fair.