Aaron Sorkin is set to direct, and Sacha Baron Cohen is eyeing to star in the political drama, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Variety reports. The film is based on a federal conspiracy trial in 1969, which arose from the protest turned police riot at the 1968 Democratic National Conference in Chicago.
Sorkin—who helmed the television series The West Wing—wrote The Trial of the Chicago 7 script over 10 years ago, with Steven Spielberg considering directing, until the writer strike occurred from 2007 to 2008.
Spielberg tried to revive the script once again in 2013, with Paul Greengrass to direct, but no one could agree on a budget, Greengrass then left the project, and the film was postponed again.
Baron Cohen was in talks to play the role of Abbie Hoffman, one of the defendants, back when Spielberg was gearing up to direct, according to Deadline. Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, was also connected to the trial but his case was later separated from the other seven. Seale was infamously bound and gagged during the trial on orders from the judge.
Following Sorkin’s directorial debut last year with the film Molly’s Game, he believed himself to be the right person to acquire directing responsibilities for Chicago 7. Baron Cohen has been busy as well, recently finishing a season of the Showtime docuseries Who Is America?