It seems “The Trial Of The Chicago 7” can’t get in front of a judge, so to speak. The long, long developing project looked it was finally kicking back to life when earlier this summer Paul Greengrass came on board to direct. But alas, it will once again need to find a helmer.
Variety reports that Greengrass has now exited the movie after he couldn’t come to terms with DreamWorks over the budget. Penned by Aaron Sorkin, Greengrass first circled the movie all the way back in 2008, and before then, Steven Spielberg had considered and Ben Stiller also kicked the tires at one point. So why has it attracted so much interest? Well, the film will tell the compelling true story of the trial that arose following the 1969 clash between protesters and police outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Famous folks like Abbie Hoffman and Bobby Seale—roles which would certainly attract some decent talent with the right director—feature, and it was a pretty dramatic time in American history in general.
Anyway, DreamWorks is looking to get this movie made for $30 million max, while Greengrass submitted a potential balance sheet closer to $40 million, and thus the two parties separated. And frankly, it’s kinda depressing for an adult drama to be scuttled over $10 million or less when that barely covers catering costs on mega-blockbusters. (We’re exaggerating, but you get the point).
So what will Greengrass do next? No doubt given the buzz around “Captain Phillips,” he’ll have plenty of offers. We suppose “Memphis” is still percolating though we haven’t heard much in a while, while talk of “Bourne 4” turned out to be bollocks. So we’ll see what his future holds and that of ‘Chicago 7’ which continues to stay in development purgatory.