Netflix is negotiating a deal to acquire domestic rights to Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 from Paramount Pictures and Cross Creek Pictures, Variety has learned.
The film follows the Chicago Seven, a group of seven activists who were charged by the federal government with conspiracy, inciting riot, and other charges stemming from anti-Vietnam War protests that broke out during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. A hot-button story, one that is sure to resonate in a presidential election year and at a time when racial injustice protests are breaking out across the country. Cross Creek co-financed the film and produced along with Amblin Partners.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 has a starry cast that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton, and Mark Rylance. Sorkin, best known for penning the scripts to The Social Network and A Few Good Men and creating The West Wing, directs, as well as wrote the film. He was previously directed Molly’s Game, the story of the woman behind an underground poker empire. Jessica Chastain starred and Sorkin picked up an Oscar nomination for its screenplay. He previously won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for The Social Network.
The purchase would add another awards contender to Netflix’s slate. The streaming service already has several Oscar hopefuls set to release in the coming months, including David Fincher’s Mank, Ramin Bahrani’s White Tiger, Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy, and George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. It has already debuted Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods to critical acclaim. Paramount originally planned to release the movie in limited release on September 25, 2020, before going wide on October 16, 2020. The hope is that. The Trial of the Chicago 7 will still be able to come out in 2020 ahead of the presidential election in November.
CAA is negotiating the pact with Netflix and unwinding foreign rights to the film, which was pre-sold. The potential deal for domestic rights will fall apart if it fails to materialize as Netflix likes to control global rights to movies. A spokesperson for CAA did not respond to requests for comment, and spokespeople for Netflix, Cross Creek, and Paramount declined to comment.