Aaron Sorkin now has a movie coming to Netflix. The brilliant mind behind The West Wing, The Social Network, and the underrated Studio 60 on Sunset Strip directed his second feature film, Trial of the Chicago 7, for Paramount. The studio has now sold the Aaron Sorkin movie to Netflix.
Another Awards Contender for Netflix
Netflix paid $56 million to acquire and distribute the drama. Paramount planned on releasing the film worldwide, but plans changed due the coronavirus. Sorkin’s film will join Spike Lee’s Da Five Bloods and David Fincher’s Mank as their serious Awards contenders.
The True Story
Based on a true story, the story follows the organizers of the protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. After the police and National Guard started attacking peaceful protestors, the peaceful protest turned violent. Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong), Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), and Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) organized the protest. They faced charges of conspiracy as a result. Brett Morgan’s Chicago 10 covered the story rather well.
Sorkin and the team behind the drama wanted it to be seen by audiences before the election. For saddening and obvious reasons, the story remains very timely. Paramount had a September release date in mind, but with theaters still closed down and surges of the coronavirus across the United States, there was clearly some doubt on the studio’s part about releasing the movie in September.
It’s not the first time Paramount has sold a movie to Netflix. One of the studio’s best movies of the century, Annihilation, was distributed internationally by the streaming service. It’s a masterful piece of sci-fi horror that the studio feared releasing worldwide; it is a deeply polarizing film. Most likely, that’s not the case for Aaron Sorkin’s latest. Sorkin’s movies are very audience-friendly, even if his directorial debut, Molly’s Game, wasn’t the biggest hit or most exciting directorial debut.
Sorkin: The Director
Sorkin first directed on The Social Network when David Fincher let him handle second-unit on a scene. Years later, the musical writer finally stepped behind the camera on Molly’s Game to mixed success. Yes, the dialogue crackled and the walk and walks were entertaining, but Sorkin sort of sucked the fun out of a very entertaining true story and book.
There wasn’t much visual excitement, either. The filmmaking was not as smooth or as musical as Sorkin’s writing. Even the cinematographer of Molly’s Game said Sorkin wasn’t that interested in the visuals, and it showed in the final movie. Hopefully with The Trial of the Chicago 7, we’ll see Sorkin grow as a director and do his script justice.
Steven Spielberg produced the Netflix drama. Spielberg was once attached to even direct the film himself, but along with some other great filmmakers, he couldn’t get it made. Paul Greengrass, known for the Bourne sequels, tried to direct The Trial of the Chicago 7 as well. It’s one of those movies that’s been talked about for years and years that somehow finally got made. It’s a miracle it did. The true story that deserves the big-screen treatment. Hopefully, Sorkin made it cinematic as well as timely. Expect Netflix to reveal a pre-election release date for the Aaron Sorkin movie soon.
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