Netflix has released the first trailer for Aaron Sorkin’s awards contender ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7.’ Based on the true story, the film follows the trials of seven people following peaceful protests that turned violent at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Sacha Baron Cohen stars as Abbie Hoffman, alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Richard Schultz, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden and “Succession” star Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin. The cast also includes Kelvin Harrison Jr, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and John Carroll Lynch.
Sorkin, an Oscar and Emmy winner, penned and directed the movie set at the height of the anti-war and civil rights movement. It follows the activists Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale who organize protest marches at the Democratic convention. The peaceful protests turn into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. All four were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot, and the trial that followed was one of the most infamous in U.S history, lasting four-and-a-half months.
The trailer gives an insight into Sorkin’s urgent drama from the courtroom tension to the steps of the courthouse as demonstrators chant “The whole world is watching.”
Sorkin originally wrote the screenplay back in 2007 with Steven Spielberg set to direct, but the writers’ strike that year forced Spielberg to drop out. In the years that followed, Sorkin tweaked the script and has made it draw eery parallels from the events of 1968 to the present day.
Paramount Pictures originally planned to premiere the movie in limited release on Sept. 25, 2020, before going wide on Oct. 16, 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the film’s theatrical plans were shelved and the streaming giant stepped in to acquire global rights for the film.
‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ will bow on Netflix on Oct. 16, placing itself as a strong awards contender. Watch the trailer below.