Aaron Sorkin is returning to his home court, which is to say, the courtroom. The scribe-turned-director is never better than when allowing a pair of extremely intelligent characters to argue one another into submission in an open proceeding or closed-door deposition, and it sounds like his latest project will have plenty of both.
Deadline reports this morning that Sorkin’s next foray into directing will be The Trial of the Chicago 7, and that he’s staffed up with a murderer’s row of name-brand actors. In classically Sorkinesque fashion, the chapter of history sampled for this film involves lots and lots of heated dialogue delivered in a legal setting. He’ll feel right at home.
The film covers a 1969 scandal in which a lineup of seven countercultural protesters responsible for unrest at the Democratic National Convention one year earlier were charged with conspiracy by the US government. They were self-styled revolutionaries, really just particularly vocal hippies, but the attempted scapegoating made them into key figures in the fight for the right to organize and oppose the status quo.
Deadline’s item mentions that Michael Keaton, William Hurt, and JC Mackenzie have all joined the cast as members of the prosecution speaking out against the Chicago 7. They’re just the latest additions to a deep bench that already includes Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Rylance (odd preponderance of Brits for a film about discord in the States), Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, and recent breakout Kelvin Harrison Jr.
As Americans continue to squabble over the proper form resistance ought to take, the subtext of Sorkin’s latest chosen subject rises to the surface, illustrating the tantamount importance of civil disobedience at a time when many pundits have placed an undue emphasis on courteousness over righteousness. At the very least, it should ignite about a week’s worth of spirited disputes on when the peace needs to be disturbed.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 will come to theaters in the US on 25 September, 2020.
Published 28 Oct 2019
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