20th Century Fox has released the first photo for The Post, featuring a small part of the immense ensemble cast, including Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, David Cross, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford and Carrie Coon. With the debut of this new image, the first trailer could be just around the corner for this biopic that could very well be one of the top Oscar contenders this year, with an all-star cast and a plot based on the incredible true story of the Pentagon Papers, the largest leak of confidential material in U.S. history, which spanned decades.
A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government. Meryl Streep plays Washington Post publisher Kay Graham, who teamed up with her volatile editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) to support The New York Times in their release of The Pentagon Papers, which was leaked to the Times by analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who worked on the initial study that proved the Lyndon B. Johnson administration had lied to the American public and Congress about the extent of their involvement in the Vietnam War. This lead to then-current President Richard Nixon to file a federal injunction to have the New York Times cease publication of the Pentagon Papers after three articles.
The newspaper quickly filed an appeal that rose through the U.S. courts system, and just days later, The Washington Post began publishing their first articles on The Pentagon Papers, with Daniel Ellsberg releasing portions of the Papers to Post reporter Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk), who then shared them with Bradlee and Graham. U.S. Attorney General William Rehnquist requested an injunction to be filed against the Post, but it was denied, a decision that was appealed by the government that ultimately lead to the Supreme Court hearing the case, while 15 other newspapers were given portions of the Papers and began publishing their reports. The Supreme Court ruled against the U.S. Government, 6-3. The Times reportedly only published roughly 5% of the initial 7,000-page report, which was published by the University of Texas in 1983, with The National Security Archive publishing the remainder of the Papers in 2002, although the Papers remained technically classified until 2011.
The Post came together at an incredible pace, with the project first being reported on in March, when both Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep signed on to the project, marking the first time these multiple Oscar winners had worked together throughout their illustrious career. The script by Liz Hannah was picked up by producer Amy Pascal before it landed one of the top spots on last year's Black List, with Steven Spielberg set to direct. Just three months after the two stars and director were attached, production got under way, with Josh Singer (The Fifth Estate, Spotlight) coming aboard to work on the script.
The Post cast also includes Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods. The studio has set The Post for a limited release engagement in New York and Los Angeles on December 22, with a nationwide release to follow on January 12, 2018. Also opening in wide release on December 22 is Universal's Pitch Perfect 3, Warner Bros.' Bastards, Paramount's Downsizing. As for its wide release on January 12, 2018, it will square off against Lionsgate's The Commuter, The Weinstein Company's Paddington 2 and Studio 8's White Boy Rick. Take a look at the first photo from The Post, courtesy of 20th Century Fox Twitter.