Paul Greengrass is in final talks to direct The Trial of the Chicago 7, the languishing drama that hasn't had any traction since August 2008, when we exclusively reported that Steven Spielberg stepped away from directing the project.
Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay, which is based on the infamous 1969 trial of seven protesters at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, who were charged with conspiracy to incite the violence that made national headlines. The trial lasted for months, with several prominent Americans called to testify on behalf of the Chicago 7, such as folk singers Phil Ochs, Judy Collins and Arlo Guthrie, writers Norman Mailer and Allen Ginsberg, and activists Timothy Leary and Jesse Jackson. In February 1970, the Chicago 7 were found innocent of conspiracy charges.
Ironically, just days after our report about Steven Spielberg dropping out, we reported that Paul Greengrass was in early talks to direct, but a deal was never reached. Ben Stiller was also in talks to direct in October 2008, but that never came to fruition either.
Steven Spielberg will not be involved in any capacity on the DreamWorks project, which plans on starting production in January on a budget of $20-$30 million. Paul Greengrass' next film, Captain Phillips, hits theaters on October 11.