It’s not locked yet, but The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Paul Greengrass is in “final talks” to direct the one-time Steven Spielberg project written by Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball, The Social Network). Greengrass previously helmed the second and third Jason Bourne films, and Captain Phillips, which stars Tom Hanks as the captain of a ship hijacked by Somali pirates, is out later this year.
The script has been more or less lying fallow since 2007, when the writers’ strike derailed a production that would have seen Spielberg at the helm with the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen, Will Smith, and Heath Ledger in the cast. The last major movement came a year later, when it looked for a while like either Greengrass or Ben Stiller might pick up the project. DreamWorks owns the script, the first of a three picture deal Sorkin signed prior to beginning work on Chicago 7.
The story centers on the trial of seven individuals charged with conspiring to and inciting a riot during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. We wouldn’t be shocked to see Social Network – style interplay between the court proceedings and depiction of the events in question. It’s unclear whether Spielberg’s Amblin entertainment will still produce the drama, but look for Dreamworks to fast-track the project given parallels with recent events such as the George Zimmerman trial.