There are reports that it was due to budgetary concerns, but Amblin says it’s more about scheduling with Sorkin focusing on To Kill a Mockingbird which opens on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre tomorrow night. The studio released the following statement:
“Aaron just adapted To Kill A Mockingbird which is premiering on Broadway this Thursday. He is currently evaluating his schedule and commitments to determine the best time and way to make The Trial of the Chicago 7. Amblin remains involved as a producer.”
The Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Social Network recently adapted Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird for the stage after a legal battle with Lee’s estate and the play is generating strong buzz. The cast is signed for a year’s run.
The cast in Trial of the Chicago 7 includes Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, and Jonathan Majors as Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale. Deadline heard that the production had been courting numerous other big stars, including Michael Keaton, who Sorkin was coveting for the role of William Kunstler.
Sorkin’s Chicago 7, which Sorkin was also writing in addition to directing, centered around the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, arising from the counterculture 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. Marc Platt is also producing.
Amblin had been trying to make Trial of Chicago 7 for more than ten years with such filmmakers as Steven Spielberg and Paul Greengrass. Baron Cohen was always a top choice for Spielberg to play Yippie co-founder and Steal This Book author Hoffman. We hear the project means a lot to Sorkin and he’s trying to figure out his schedule so he can direct.
Variety first reported the news.