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Paul Greengrass drops out of Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7

09.17.2013

Due to budgetary disagreements, Paul Greengrass has parted ways with DreamWorks' THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7.

The studio was shooting to stay under $30 million then Greengrass turned around handing them a budget of $40 million. This was obviously a little more than the studio wanted to pay for the flick. After several discussions, the studio and Greengrass parted ways. The focus is now looking for a director to work within their budget. With the film being a period piece centered in 1968, not to mention that they will be recreating the riots of that year they will need to spare some cash for authenticity. I'm sure there are ways to do this without spending the extra $10 million.

Here's information on the true story:

It's based on the 1968 Democratic National Convention when anti-war, counter-culture, Yippie, Black Panther, and other protesters battled the Chicago Police Department in what became week-long street rioting witnessed live on television by a worldwide audience. A year later the Nixon administration tried the most prominent activists on charges they conspired to incite the violence. Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, and Lee Weiner were represented by attorneys William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass of the Center For Constitutional Rights. An 8th defendant, Bobby Seale, co-chair of the Black Panther Party, wound up infamously bound, gagged and handcuffed to his chair by presiding U.S. District Judge Julius Hoffman until his trial was severed during the proceedings. Seale was ordered to serve 5 years in prison for contempt of court."

"The Chicago 7 trial lasted months and created headlines, especially with many well-known names from the American left called to testify including folk singers Phil Ochs, Judy Collins and Arlo Guthrie, writers Norman Mailer and Allen Ginsberg, and activists Timothy Leary and Jesse Jackson. On February 18, 1970, all 7 defendants were found not guilty of conspiracy. Froines and Weiner were acquitted completely, while the remaining 5 were convicted of crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot, and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Two years later, all the convictions were reversed on appeal."

With Aaron Sorkin having delivered what they say is an "excellent screenplay" (as if he knows how to do anything else), it shouldn't be hard to find someone else for the job.

Source: Variety

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