Steven Spielberg’s The Post fast-tracked for 2017 Oscar race
Just last week, it was announced that 20th Century Fox and Amblin Entertainment were quickly rounding up talent for director Steven Spielberg’s The Post, a film about the Pentagon Papers controversy which will star two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Captain Phillips) and three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady, Florence Foster Jenkins). Now, Deadline is reporting that the timely film about the importance of a free press is being fast-tracked for a May start date in order to complete the picture for an Oscar-qualifying release, likely in late December of 2017.
The Post is clearly looking to capitalize on the story’s zeitgeist-tapping potential amid the current administration’s attacks on the press, and may even signal a whole wave of socially-relevant films from major studios. The May start date gives the film only eight months from cameras rolling to release, though the speedy Spielberg previously completed his 2005 Best Picture-nominee Munich in a mere six months. This also means that the director’s sci-fi flick Ready Player One will have the honor of being released three or four months AFTER The Post in March of 2018, despite having finished filming months ago. Spielberg will finish work on both films this year while also continuing his meticulous search for a child actor to star in The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara with Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac. He also has the fifth Indiana Jones movie starring Harrison Ford for Disney, which has a July 19, 2019 release date.
The Post will follow the 1971 scandal after the decision of The Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) and publisher Katharine Graham (Streep) to publish The Pentagon Papers. Written and leaked by military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon Papers established that the Johnson Administration had lied to the public and congress about US military involvement in the Vietnam War, and revealed that the Nixon administration had secretly escalated the war. The Nixon administration tried to stop The Post from publishing them, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General William Rehnquist took the case to the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the paper. The late Jason Robards won a 1974 Best Supporting Actor Oscar portraying a Watergate-era Bradlee in All the President’s Men.
This will mark the fifth time Spielberg has directed his pal Hanks after Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal and Bridge of Spies. While Streep has never appeared on screen in a Spielberg film, she provided the voice of The Blue Fairy in 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Written as a spec script by newcomer Liz Hannah, The Post will be produced by Amy Pascal (Spider-Man: Homecoming) alongside Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger (Bridge of Spies). Rachel O’Connor will executive produce with Star Thrower Entertainment’s Tim and Trevor White, and Adam Somner.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)