Steven Spielberg put another project on hold to direct The Papers, a film based on the Washington Post’s decision to publish the classified Pentagon Papers in 1971. Spielberg felt that the material was timely enough to get the film out this year.
Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep quickly jumped on board. Hanks play Post editor Ben Bradlee who teamed up with publisher Kay Graham played by Streep. The Pentagon Papers was a classified study that revealed harrowing details about the futility of the Vietnam War, which exposed that the Nixon Administration had been lying to the public. When the White House stopped the New York Times’ initial release of the papers, Bradlee and Graham fought to publish the rest in direct defiance of the Executive Branch.
The rest of the cast was announced yesterday. Most of which come from some of the biggest shows on TV right now. The cast includes; Alison Brie, Carrie Coon (Fargo, The Leftovers), David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story), Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Michael Stuhlbarg (Fargo), Bradley Whitford, and Zach Woods. Sounds like a Best Ensemble SAG nomination.
Ther Papers is currently shooting and is supposed to be released on the Oscar-Friendly date of December 22nd in NY and LA and open wide on January 12, 2018. That gives Spielberg 6 months to finish shooting and post production. An extremely ambitious schedule. This doesn’t give the film time to run the festival circuit that is often needed to get Oscar attention, but if it is strong enough, it won’t need the early year buzz.