British actor would play Abbie Hoffman in film

Could “The Trial of the Chicago Seven” be Steven Spielberg’s next picture?

Spielberg has been developing the DreamWorks project, about anti-Vietnam War activists arrested at the 1968 Democratic Convention, for some time. Now it looks as if he has found his hippie ringleader.

British thesp Sacha Baron Cohen, who just came off a role in DreamWorks’ “Sweeney Todd,” has been attached to play Abbie Hoffman in the pic, according to a report in London’s Sunday Times.

A rep for Spielberg would neither confirm nor deny the report.

DreamWorks inked a deal with Aaron Sorkin to write the script for the project in July. Spielberg is producing alongside Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald.

“Chicago Seven” is not without competition for Spielberg’s attentions.

He also has a project about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War in the works. That project has a script and leading thesp in the bag.

Tony Kushner, the “Angels in America” playwright who rewrote Eric Roth’s script for “Munich,” has delivered the script, based on a Doris Kearns Goodwin book, and Liam Neeson is attached to play Lincoln.

Spielberg is also lined up to direct one of the 3-D toons in the “Tintin” trilogy, which is being produced by Spielberg, Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy. Jackson will also helm one of the pics, the first of which is skedded to begin principal photography in September.

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