As has been previously reported, Steven Spielberg is readying a feature film centering on the controversy and publication of the Pentagon Papers, one of the most pivotal events in modern American history. Spielberg has already enlisted stalwarts like Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep to lead the picture, being put together by Fox and Amblin Entertainment, and the movie is already hoping to be one of the stronger prestige titles of the year.
The movie, now called The Papers (it was originally titled The Post), has now enlisted a sterling ensemble cast. According to multiple reports, Alison Brie (Community), Carrie Coon (The Leftovers), David Cross (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Bruce Greenwood (Truth), Tracy Letts (The Lovers), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Sarah Paulson (Carol), Jesse Plemons (Fargo), Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Michael Stuhlbarg (Steve Jobs), Bradley Whitford (Get Out) and Zach Woods (Silicon Valley) have all boarded the project.
Given the current political climate – and the ever-growing leaks dominating headlines – The Papers may prove ultimately quite timely. The film centers on the role played by The Washington Post in publishing the Pentagon Papers. The Papers themselves was an explosive document the exposed particularly sensitive government secrets and various cover-ups centering on America’s role in the Vietnam War. The Papers themselves presented an unprecedented legal challenged for both The Washington Post and The New York Times and came with tremendous pressure from then president Richard Nixon. Streep will portray Katherine Graham, the Post’s newspaper publisher – the first female in the nation to hold such a title – while Hanks will play intrepid editor Ben Bradlee.
Spielberg ventured in the politics a few years back with his acclaimed biopic Lincoln, a film which earned Daniel Day-Lewis his third Academy Award for his nearly instantly iconic take as the 16th president. He has since directed the Cold War drama Bridge of Spies – which also starred Hanks and earned Mark Rylance an Academy Award – and last year premiered the Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG. The Oscar-winning filmmaker recently wrapped Ready Player One. The Papers began principle photography last week. Liz Hannah and Josh Singer penned the screenplay.
Fox is planning to release The Papers, first in limited release on December 22nd, followed by a wide expansion on January 12th.