Aaron Sorkin is attached to direct and Sacha Baron Cohen is in early talks to star in The Trial of the Chicago 7, a long-in-the-works feature film from Amblin Entertainment, Deadline has confirmed. The movie is based on the 1969 federal conspiracy trial stemming from the cops-vs-protesters riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that captivated an already divided nation.
Sorkin, who created the political drama series The West Wing, had penned the original screenplay more than a decade ago, and at one point Steven Spielberg was planning to direct until the writers strike hit. Later, Paul Greengrass was attached to helm, but he fell out in 2013 (he directed Captain Phillips instead).
Baron Cohen was in the mix to play Abbie Hoffman as far back as when Spielberg planned to direct, Deadline reported at the time (Scott Rudin was attached to produce originally; Marc Platt is aboard now). Others involved in the trial that became household names during the tumultuous political period include Black Panther Bobby Seale, Tom Hayden and civil rights attorney William Kunstler.
Sorkin made his feature film directorial debut last year with Molly’s Game. Baron Cohen just wrapped a season of Showtime’s stinging docuseries Who Is America?
Variety broke this news first today.