The trailer starts off with a rather shocking realization: Eddie Redmayne with an American accent. Accents aside, Redmayne’s Tom Hayden proclaims, “we’re coming to Chicago peacefully, but whether we’re given permits or not, we’re coming,” followed by Abbie Hoffman(Sacha Baron Cohen) saying, “We’re going to Chicago to protest the Vietnam War.” This gives greater detail to the initial intent of the Chicago 7 in this story right before the riots that ensued at the 1968 democratic national convention.
The trailer jumps from police lines to protest lines eventually leading to the actual trial, where more lines of division are drawn. Richard Schultz(Joseph Gordon Levitt) lists off all eight (yes eight) of the Chicago seven. Schultz finishes by stating that the Chicago seven had a plan “to incite a riot.” Followed by an almost stand-up comedy shot of Abbie Hoffman talking about the trial, perhaps giving a hint at the possible framing device used by Sorkin in this film.
Nevertheless, the trailer continues and shows Bobby Seale(Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), the eighth(yes, eighth!) member of the Chicago seven, being tried alone without a lawyer, while the other seven were tried together, the actual Bobby Seale was tried by himself(that’s why there’s eight). This also starts the largest revelation in the trailer with Judge Julius Hoffman(Frank Langella), no relation to Abbie Hoffman, clearly unfairly targeting jurors that sympathize with the Chicago seven.
The trailer builds in intensity as Langella, at numerous points throughout the trial, seemingly discriminates against Bobby Seale and makes it difficult for the rest of the group to get a fair trial. A line is drawn clearly between the Chicago seven and Judge Hoffman at this point.
Following these intense moments, the trailer shifts in tone. The next minute and a half provides a more uplifting message of change. Characters speak of a gaining revolution and being courageous as people chant “the whole world is watching.” The music corresponds with these inspirational feelings as William Kunstler(Mark Rylance) watches Abbie Hoffman on television say that the price to end the revolution would be his life.
This sets the screen for the October release of the film. There are still many questions and a lot of story to cover for Sorkin’s sophomore outing as a director, but with an intriguing cast, with up and comers, established, and characters actors alike, this is almost destined for awards season.
The whole world can start watching on October 16th on Netflix.