First photos: “Chicago 7” by Aaron Sorkin

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Aaron Sorkins Chicago First Pictures 7

As part of a major Vanity Fair feature film, the first photos have been released from Aaron Sorkin’s new film “The Trial of the Chicago 7” which Netflix will release on October 16th.

The project deals with the true story of the riots near the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention. Several counterculture activists led a massive protest in Grant Park against the Vietnam War. What started as a peaceful protest quickly turned into a televised bloodbath with the involvement of the cops first and then the National Guard.

A savage and infamous six-month trial followed in 1969 in which the organizers were charged by President Nixon’s Justice Department with criminal conspiracy and crossing state borders to incite a riot. The injustice of this spectacle helped radicalize millions of disgruntled American children.

Steven Spielberg had long wanted to make the film but ultimately handed it over to Sorkin for him to direct and encouraged the writer to do. Sorkin tweaked his script to highlight the similar polarization of politics that was happening then and now, while also wanting to make sure the movie didn’t feel like a docudrama.

As a result, the film has three axes – the drama of the courtroom of the trial itself, the evolution of the riot and how it got out of hand, and a more personal story of the bond developed between the humorous firecracker Abbie. Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen) and button-down Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne).

The film also stars Jeremy Strong as anti-war activist Jerry Rubin, Frank Langella as villainous Judge Hoffman, Mark Rylance as defense attorney William Kunstler, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as prosecutor Richard Schultz, Michael Keaton as former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Yahya. Abdul-Mateen II as a member of Black Panther Bobby Seale. Kelvin Harrison Jr. and JC Mackenzie co-starring.

Visit VanityFair.com for the full collection of photos.

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