Less than one week away from the release of Brett Morgen’s documentary Chicago 10 and it looks like Steven Spielberg’s dramatic feature based on the same story of the protesters accused of starting the riot outside the 1968 Democratic Convention, The Trial of the Chicago 7, will be delaying production for the foreseeable future.
The story started earlier today when Collider was reporting that Spielberg dropped out of the project. In fact, Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily and Entertainment Weekly’s Hollywood Insider went to their own sources and got the real story, that Aaron Sorkin’s script wasn’t quite ready and that Spielberg was worried about a potential actors strike in June to start production in April. The project isn’t scrapped and Spielberg will continue developing the script with Sorkin, the creator of “The West Wing” and screenwriter of the recent Charlie Wilson’s War, and producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, but they didn’t want to hold up the cast or crew from getting work in the spring in case SAG can’t work out a new contract with AMPTP and choose to strike.
Nikki Finke’s article also debunked the rumors that Will Smith would be playing Black Panther activist Bobby Seale, stating that only Sacha Baron Cohen had been cast as Abbie Hoffman and that the rest of the Chicago defendants would be played by unknowns to keep the costs down.