Venkman here - The last I heard about the movie 'The Trial of the Chicago 7' Steven Spielberg was set to direct it. But not any more. At one point it was rumored to not be happening at all. But film school rejects use their awesome ninja reserch skills to find out that it is not a dead project put that Paul Greengrass is the new man in the directors chair. Aaron Sorkin, Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald are producing the production, and they have been from the beginning.
It makes sense that Spielberg wouldn't be doing this movie for the fact that he has 2 huge project to undertake. His Abraham Lincoln biopic, and Tintin.
Paul Greengrass has directed 'The Bourne Ultimatum' which was amazing and 'United 93'. This should be a good project for him. A while back Vanity Fair's Jim Windolf visited Spielberg at his Amblin Entertainment office, While he was their he got to see some early production work on the movie:
My glance strays to a side table, where headshots of actors under consideration for his likely next directing project, Chicago 7-about the conspiracy trial that grew out of protests at the 1968 Democratic convention-lie on the surface. Among them I spy Will Smith, Taye Diggs, Adam Arkin, and Kevin Spacey; Sacha Baron Cohen (as Abbie Hoffman) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (as William Kunstler) are also linked to the project, which has a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin.
It looked like that had some great ideas for some casting. Who knows if anyone was ever contacted and if so who was interested? I hope they still keep some of those names in mind for this new go around at the making of Chicago 7.
If you are not sure what this is about here is the official story summary:
Based on the 2007 documentary "Chicago 10," by Brett Morgen. At the 1968 Democratic Convention, protesters, denied permits for demonstrations, repeatedly clashed with the Chicago Police Department, who waged a week-long terror campaign that resulted in riots witnessedlive by a television audience of over 50 million. The events had a polarizing effect on the country. Needing to find a scapegoat for the riots, theGovernment held eight of the most vocal activists accountable for the violence and brought them to trial a year later. The defendants representeda broad cross-section of the anti-war movement, from counter-culture icons Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin to renowned pacifist David Dellinger.Seven of the defendants were represented by Leonard Weinglass and famed liberal attorney William Kunstler, who went head-to-head withprosecution attorney Thomas Foran. The eighth defendant, Bobby Seale, co-chair of the Black Panther Party, insisted on defending himself andwas bound, gagged and handcuffed to his chair by Judge Julius Hoffman. From the start, the trial was a circus with the eight defendants on acollision course with the governmental authority.