Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II star in the upcoming film, based on real-life events.
After scripting the dramatic stories of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Apple visionary Steve Jobs, and underground A-list poker boss Molly Bloom, Aaron Sorkin is focusing on another group of real-life revolutionaries.
The writer and director's upcoming film, The Trial of the Chicago 7, depicts a dramatized version of the events surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and a group of political leaders who were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot in a nationally televised trial that radicalized a generation of young people.
The first-look photos from the film, which were debuted on Wednesday by Vanity Fair, show stars Sacha Baron Cohen and Jeremy Strong as activists Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Bobby Seale.
Eddie Redmayne stars as Tom Hayden, veteran of the Free Speech Movement, alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays prosecutor Richard Schultz, and Mark Rylance, who plays defense attorney William Kunstler. The cast also includes Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, and Alex Sharp.
The film feels especially relevant right now, as protests continue around the country following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and more. Sorkin spoke with Vanity Fair about the project's unexpected timeliness following President Trump's recent rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“We didn’t need it to get more relevant, but it did. The polarization, the militarization of the police, the fear of Black activists, even the intramural battle between the left and the far left," the director said of the upcoming feature. “I wish I could release it today. Unfortunately, I’m confident that when we release it in the fall it’ll be just as timely.”
The Trial of the Chicago 7 will be released on Netflix on Oct. 16.