Netflix has acquired the multimillion-dollar worldwide rights to “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” the latest film from writer and director Aaron Sorkin based on the true story of a protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Paramount was previously the distributor on the film and was meant to release it theatrically in September before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Netflix now plans to release the film globally later this year after acquiring it for about $56 million, according to Deadline.
The movie comes from Cross Creek Pictures and is produced by Marc Platt, Stuart Besser, Matt Jackson and Tyler Thompson. The executive producers are Laurie MacDonald, Walter Parkes, Marc Butan, Anthony Katagas, James Rodenhouse, Nia Vazirani, Thorsten Schumacher, Slava Vladimirov, Jared Underwood, Andrew Robinson, Jan Mcadoo, Maurice Fadida, Kristie Macosko Krieger, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson, Ryan Smith, Nicole Shipley, Steve Matzkin and Sarah Schroeder-Matzkin.
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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Alex Sharp, Jeremy Strong, Noah Robbins, Danny Flahery, Ben Shenkman, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Caitlin Fitzgerald, Alice Kremelberg, John Doman, J.C. MacKenzie, Damien Young, Wayne Duvall and C.J. Wilson all star in “Chicago 7.” Here’s the official synopsis.
What was intended to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest–including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale–were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.
“Chicago 7” adds another potential awards contender to Netflix’s film slate, one that also includes new films from David Fincher, Ron Howard and George Clooney, not to mention Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” based on an August Wilson play.
“Chicago 7” will be Sorkin’s directorial follow-up to “Molly’s Game” from 2017, which he also wrote and starred Jessica Chastain. Several filmmakers including Steven Spielberg and Paul Greengrass have all tried to get the story of the Chicago 7 off the ground for years.
Deadline first reported the news of the acquisition.
For the record: A previous version of this story misspelled Ben Shenkman’s name.