‘Trial of the Chicago 7’ Trailer: Netflix Unveils First Footage from Aaron Sorkin’s Protest Drama

The awards season hopeful featuring an outrageously starry cast will debut on the platform October 16.
The Trial of the Chicago 7
"The Trial of the Chicago 7"

Netflix has a mighty arrow in its awards quiver this season with the release of writer/director Aaron Sorkin’s long-in-the-works drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” dropping on the platform October 16. The streamer unveiled a first teaser for the film during the LA Rams/Dallas Cowboys Sunday Night Football game. Watch below.

The film boasts one of this year’s most impressive casts, including Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Frank Langella, Jeremy Strong, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. “Chicago 7” chronicles how the peaceful protest outside the 1968 Democratic Convention unraveled into a fatal clash with police officers and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest — including Abbie Hoffman (Cohen), Jerry Rubin (Strong), Tom Hayden (Redmayne), and Bobby Seale (Abdul-Mateen) — were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.

The cast of “The Trial of the Chicago 7” also includes Mark Rylance, John Carroll Lynch, Ben Shenkman, Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Danny Flaherty. It arrives just ahead of the election on November 3. The streamer bought Sorkin’s film from Paramount for a reported $56 million, but the project has been in the works for more than a decade, with directors including Steven Spielberg and Paul Greengrass once rumored to be attached.

According to a Vanity Fair first look at the movie from over the summer, Cohen had strong words in teasing the film. “[Sorkin is] as talented as Shakespeare. And a lot more consistent,” he said. “He hasn’t had a ‘Titus Andronicus.’”

Strong was reportedly a die-hard method actor while on set, going to extremes to let the riotous atmosphere of the period seep into him. According to Sorkin, while filming riot scenes on location in Chicago’s Grant Park, Strong demanded that an ex-cop starring as a storm trooper in the movie throw him to the ground before each take. “Jeremy begged me to spray him with real tear gas,” said Sorkin, who declined to do so.

Check out the first teaser for “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” This is Aaron Sorkin’s second film as a director, after only “Molly’s Game,” but he is an Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay for David Fincher’s “The Social Network.”

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