Netflix has closed its big global deal for Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial Of The Chicago 7 and the price tag comes in at around $56M, we can reveal.
Paramount was previously the domestic distributor and the film was due for theatrical release in a host of international markets but the coronavirus wrecked that plan. The deal was done with producers Cross Creek.
Based on Sorkin’s screenplay, The Social Network and West Wing scribe also directed the film, which charts how 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 American history. The hot-button story is set in the late 60s, but speaks to the divisiveness of our times and how young people can take on power.
The starry cast includes Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Alex Sharp, Mark Rylance, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella and John Carroll Lynch.
The filmmakers wanted the timely film to be seen by as wide an audience as possible, especially before the election, and Covid made theatrical releases more problematic. Paramount came off the film in recent weeks and the last of the international buyers has been unwound and compensated.
We hear that the new pact with Cross Creek covers the previous financial commitments on the film so it isn’t a case of extra riches all round. CAA Media Finance brokered the deal.
The film had been due for domestic release at the end of September. It now lines up as another potential awards contender for Netflix. Release date has not been set but it’s likely to be on the platform before the November election.
Marc Platt, Stuart Besser, Matt Jackson and Tyler Thompson are producers. Executive producers are Laurie MacDonald, Walter Parkes, Marc Butan, Anthony Katagas, James Rodenhouse, Shivani Rawat, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Nia Vazirani and Maurice Fadida.
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