Aaron Sorkin‘s Trial Of The Chicago 7 has had an interesting development.
It was originally a hot package that attracted big names such as Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton, and had Steven Spielberg and Paul Greengrass each attached to direct at points, but then in December 2018, the movie was surprisingly shut down over budgetary concerns.
That move came in the wake of Damien Chazelle‘s First Man being a similar high-profile drama set in the 1960s that floundered at the box office, with producers worried that Trial Of The Chicago 7 would suffer a similar fate. However, since then the budget was retooled and the film has been shot.
Yet there’s more drama for the project, as Netflix is reportedly attempting to purchase the film from Paramount.
This news comes just one month after Paramount pushed the film’s release date to October 16, 2020. The studio picked up the film itself back in August 2019 from Amblin.
Sorkin’s film will follow the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more, which arose from anti-Vietnam protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial would then transfix a nation and open up questions about mayhem intended to undermine the U.S. government.
Redmayne and Keaton are still on board, alongside a stacked cast including Sacha Baron Cohen, Frank Langella, Mark Rylance, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Carroll Lynch, and Jeremy Strong.
It makes sense that Netflix would seek to acquire Sorkin’s film. The streaming giant has been searching for that elusive Oscar success for years, and this could be the year they finally find that success with the Oscars temporarily changing their rules and cinemas worldwide mostly closed.
Netflix just released Spike Lee‘s excellent Da 5 Bloods which figures to be in the awards conversation, as do upcoming prestige films such as David Fincher‘s Mank, Ron Howard‘s Hillbilly Elegy, George C. Wolfe‘s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Ramin Bahrani‘s White Tiger.
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 would fit quite nicely alongside those titles as another awards contender.
The film is still slated for its October 2020 release. We’ll wait and see if this Netflix deal goes through, and whether that changes anything about when the film will arrive.