Netflix released the full trailer for The Trial of the Chicago 7. Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the legal drama follows a group of anti-Vietnam protesters charged in late 1969 with inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. It features an ensemble cast including Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Daniel Flaherty, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, John Carroll Lynch, Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Strong, Noah Robbins, Alex Sharp, and Mark Rylance.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 has long been in development. Sorkin wrote the screenplay in 2007, intending to have Steven Spielberg direct. However, because of budget concerns and the Writers Guild of America strike, which happened that same year, Spielberg stepped back from the project. The Trial of the Chicago 7 picked up steam when Sorkin was announced as directing the film in 2018. Since buying the rights from Paramount Pictures, back in June, Netflix has been heavily promoting The Trial of the Chicago 7. After revealing first-look images and a teaser, audiences now get a complete look at the movie in the first full trailer.
Netflix unveiled The Trial of the Chicago 7’s full trailer via YouTube. The preview gives more context to scenes in the teaser, in addition to expanding on the drama’s premise. Sorkin is invested in dramatizing the uphill battle the defendants faced in the courtroom, particularly with a biased judge presiding over their case. The trailer also touches on themes of police brutality, which carry added relevance, given the Black Lives Matter protests which have erupted across the U.S. You can check out the trailer for The Trial of the Chicago 7, along with a poster, below.
What the trailer does exceptionally well is reorient the expectations of viewers. Though the events took place decades ago, the questions which the Trial of the Chicago 7 raises couldn’t be more relevant. The protestors are keenly aware of the possibility that the police could react to their demonstrations with violence. In the same vein, Sorkin also affords space to debate whether a peaceful protest is enough to bring about change or if some form of rioting is necessary. The Trial of the Chicago 7 also doesn’t sugarcoat the fact that the defendants are operating in an unjust and easily manipulated justice system, highlighting moments where the bigoted judge blatantly takes the prosecution’s side.
But even beyond the real-world implications of the film, The Trial of the Chicago 7 looks to be a riveting drama. The trailer showcases the formidable cast, hinting at a potentially rich emotional arc for Baron Cohen’s character as he gets the last line in both the teaser and the trailer. There’s a bit of humor on display, too, with Sorkin utilizing his knack for injecting humor into otherwise grim situations. Altogether, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is well-positioned to make a significant impact when it arrives on Netflix in October. Given the combination of talent in front of the camera and Sorkin’s pedigree, the legal drama will almost certainly rack up a slew of nominations once awards season rolls around.