‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ is Finally Getting Made, Probably by Paul Greengrass

By  · Published on July 24th, 2013

When Aaron Sorkin first wrote the screenplay for The Trial of the Chicago 7 back in 2007, the safe assumption was that the film would quickly be fast-tracked to fame, glory, and lots and lots of awards. Steven Spielberg was soon attached to direct and quickly began assembling the cast- Sacha Baron Cohen was confirmed, while actors like Will Smith and Heath Ledger were strongly rumored to be involved.

Then the 2008 Writers’ Guild strike hit. The film was delayed again and again; Spielberg eventually dropped out and the screenplay was shuffled off into some dark corner, left to do little else besides sit and wait.

Now, the sitting and waiting may be nearing an end. Long rumored to replace Spielberg, Deadline now seems to be confirming that Paul Greengrass (of the second and third Bourne films and United 93) is now in talks to direct the forever-awaiting-development script. Production will most likely begin in January at a budget of between $20–30m.

The Trial of the Chicago 7, like so many other films destined to win 7 trillion Oscars, is based on a true story- that of the 1968 Democratic convention and the protestors who disrupted it. The demonstration turned violent, and the resulting trial captured the attention of a nation. This is probably the ideal project for Greengrass, whose films (like United 93 and his upcoming film on Somali pirates) tend to be quite political. No other names are attached to the project as of now; presumably they’ll be announced when (or if) Greengrass signs on for real.