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Paramount to Distribute Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Chicago 7’ as Frank Langella and Mark Rylance Join Cast

Cross Creek to co-finance and produce film alongside Amblin Pictures, with production expected to begin this fall

Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” has found a domestic distributor in Paramount Pictures, according to an individual familiar with the project. The film has also added Frank Langella, another individual told TheWrap, and Mark Rylance, who is in negotiations, according to a third individual.

Cross Creek has also come aboard the historical drama as a co-financier and producer with Amblin Pictures, and production on the long-delayed and anticipated film, which Sorkin intends to direct, is now on track to begin this fall.

Langella joins the cast as U.S. District Court Judge Julius Hoffman, and Rylance will play the defense lawyer for the Chicago 7, William Kuntsler. They join a previously announced cast that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jonathan Majors and Alex Sharp.

Based on Sorkin’s screenplay, the film is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and more after they were arrested during the countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The story is set in 1968 and 1969, but it speaks directly to the divisiveness of our times and how young people can take on power and change the world.

Marc Platt is producing with Steven Spielberg, as is Cross Creek CEO Tyler Thompson and Stuart Besser. Shivani Rawat is serving as an executive producer.

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” was put on hold last December, with Sorkin citing scheduling complications with the staging of his play based on “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It was revived in February and was introduced to international buyers at the European Film Market.

Spielberg had previously eyed to direct “Chicago 7,” and Paul Greengrass was attached as far back as 2013, but ultimately recused himself from the project over disagreements on the film’s budget. At one point, Michael Keaton attached to star in the film as Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

“Chicago 7” will be Sorkin’s directorial follow-up to “Molly’s Game” from 2017, which he also wrote and starred Jessica Chastain.

Rylance is represented by CAA, Hamilton Hodell, Ltd., and Peikoff Mahan Law Office. Langella is represented by ICM and Circle of Confusion.

News of Paramount acquiring “Chicago 7” was first reported by Deadline.