We may be living through our own social revolution in 2020, but Netflix’s upcoming film, The Trial of the Chicago 7, gives a welcome picture of the power, grace, and determination that has gone into protests past.
Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the king of walking and talking dialogue, the film, out October 16, retells the true story of an initially peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and the violent confrontations that ensued.
Told through the experiences of seven men (a whole lotta men in this movie, which we can discuss after its release), the movie follows the organisers of the controversial protest. Most of the drama takes place inside a courtroom, where those known as the “Chicago Seven” have been charged for inciting riots, even though many believed the Chicago police were responsible for all of the civil unrest and violence.
As the name suggests, the real draw here is the cast: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II — who just won an Emmy for his role on HBO’s Watchmen and portrays Bobby Seale, the only Black man of the aforementioned seven; Sacha Baron Cohen — whose performance as Abbie Hoffman is already being applauded; Jeremy Strong — who also just won an Emmy for his role on HBO’s Succession and wears an insanely glorious wig while playing counterculture icon Jerry Rubin; Joseph Gordon-Levitt — who plays one of the guys on the other side of the courtroom; and Eddie Redmayne — who ditches his British accent to portray Tom Hayden, a political activist and the only of the seven who can say he was married to Jane Fonda. It’s a lineup oozing with talent and the potential for remarkable scenes. Mark Rylance, Frank Langella, Alex Sharp, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Caitlin Fitzgerald also star.
Sorkin started the script in 2007, with Will Smith and Heath Ledger originally attached, but this final cast and final release date could not feel more timely, or more accurate.
Watch the stirring trailer below.
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