After languishing in the studio system for over a decade, it appears that “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is destined to go back to the drawing board after Amblin Entertainment pulls the plug on the Aaron Sorkin-directed project during pre-production.
Originally scheduled to get made in 2008, with Will Smith attached to star and Steven Spielberg directing, the Sorkin-penned film was never able to go in front of cameras. And in the years since, talent has come and gone, such as director Paul Greengrass, with no progress being made. That is, until the end of October, when it was announced that Sorkin, coming off his directorial debut “Molly’s Game,” would perform double-duty and direct the film that is based on his script.
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” is a film about the real-life trial of folks charged with conspiracy, among other charges, stemming from counterculture protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Now, the project is being shelved yet again after reports that Sorkin is focusing on his upcoming play, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and waiting for Amblin to figure out what they want to do next with the film.
“Aaron just adapted ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ which is premiering on Broadway this Thursday. He is currently evaluating his schedule and commitments to determine the best time and way to make ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7.’ Amblin remains involved as a producer,” Amblin said in a statement (via Variety).
What makes this situation more interesting than most shelved productions is the fact that Amblin and Sorkin had already hired some big names to headline the cast, including Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. The cast for ‘Chicago 7’ was shaping up to be something special, but alas, it’s back to the drawing board, for now.