Having made his directorial debut in 2017 with “Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin’s next project will be “Trial of the Chicago Seven,” with Sacha Baron Cohen as its lead.
He wrote White House TV saga “The West Wing” and military courtroom drama “A Few Good Men,” as well as true-life movie adaptations “Moneyball” and “The Social Network”.
Now Aaron Sorkin is to direct from his own script, telling the story of a prominent anti-Vietnam protest that resulted in a notorious federal prosecution and trial.
Sasha Baron Cohen, linked with the project since before Sorkin was in the director’s chair, is expected to lead as political activist Abbie Hoffman.
Hoffman and seven co-defendants (six after Black Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale was removed and tried separately) were put on trial for their part in turning a permitted protest into an un-permitted march upon the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Charged with conspiracy to incite a riot, the defendants — as well as the group’s attorneys — were also convicted for contempt of court as a result of disruptive behavior displayed during the trial.
The movie’s announcement comes ahead of a contentious US mid-term election on November 6, 2018, following nationwide protest marches, local street corner demonstrations, and an ongoing daily protest party outside the White House, as well as a stream of legal filings that challenge the legality of several domestic and foreign policy decisions.
Previous dramatizations of the Chicago Eight and Chicago Seven trial have included “Steal This Movie” (2000) with Vincent D’Onofrio as Abbie Hoffman, and “The Chicago Eight” (2012) with Thomas Ian Nichols of “American Pie” and “Red Band Society” in the same role.
Sasha Baron Cohen has starred in cultural and political satires “Borat,” “Bruno” and “The Dictator,” disguised himself using prosthetics and heavy make-up to interview prominent US politicians for 2018 series “Who Is America?,” and appeared in more serious dramas “Les Misérables” and “Hugo.”