Eddie Redmayne is in talks to star in Aaron Sorkin's upcoming film The Trial of the Chicago 7. Known for his legendary writing credits such as A Few Good Men and The Social Network, Sorkin made the jump to directing last year with Molly's Game. While the true-story drama didn't garner as much attention on the awards circuit as other titles, it was still very well-received and demonstrated Sorkin could have a future as a helmsman. It didn't take the Oscar-winner much time to line up his next feature.
It was only a week ago Sorkin was announced as director for The Trial of the Chicago 7, with no less an authority than Steven Spielberg believing Sorkin was the perfect choice for the material. As was the case with Molly's Game, Sorkin will write in addition to directing, and Sacha Baron Cohen is said to be portraying counterculture figure Abbie Hoffman. Now, the film's cast might have added another A-lister.
Variety reports Redmayne is in "early talks" to join Trial of the Chicago 7. Should he formally sign on, the actor would play Tom Hayden, co-founder of Students for a Democratic Society. Hayden was a well-known political activist who even stood trial during the Chicago 7 case, so he's clearly a prominent player in Sorkin's film.
Redmayne's profile rose considerably when he first appeared as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but the actor has always been interested in non-franchise fare. Redmayne has something of a history with the Academy himself, winning Best Actor for his performance as Steven Hawking in The Theory of Everything. He was also nominated in that category for 2015's The Danish Girl. Considering the pedigree of Sorkin and the premise, Chicago 7 certainly reads as another awards play for Redmayne, and it's easy to understand the appeal. Working with someone as renowned as Sorkin (who's world famous for his snappy dialogue) sounds like an opportunity too good to pass up and Hayden will likely be a compelling role for Redmayne to explore.
There's no word yet on when The Trial of the Chicago 7 will enter production, but if the pieces are starting to fall into place now, Amblin Entertainment is likely hoping to get the cameras rolling in the near future. Depending on how the schedule works out, the film could be ready for a late 2019 release, where it'll surely be looking to make a splash during awards season. With the talent's that's been assembled in the early going, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is shaping up to be one for cinephiles to keep on their radars.