Aaron Sorkin’s latest drama is coming to Netflix in the very near future, and with a mammoth cast full of stars and some promising early reviews it’s safe to say it’s become a highly anticipated release.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – which is also showing in select cinemas – centres on the events of a notorious trial from 1968, when seven counter-protestors at the Democratic National Convention were accused of conspiracy and inciting to riot.
And although the action takes place more than 50 years ago, there are some striking similarities to the political climate of today.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 cast pulled in to bring some of the real-life characters to the screen is quite something, with some of the stars including Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Mark Rylance, Michael Keaton, Frank Langella, Succession’s Jeremy Strong, and Watchman star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.
Prior to the launch of the trailer, Netflix had already released several first-look images of the movie, with some of its major stars visible.
Will never get over the big hair energy in these first look photos from THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7.
The latest from writer/director Aaron Sorkin, detailing the the trial that followed the protests at the '68 Democratic National Convention, is on Netflix globally 16 October. pic.twitter.com/sZtKKAU9Pb
— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) July 22, 2020
But when exactly will we see them all on screen? Here’s all we know so far.
When is The Trial of the Chicago 7’s Netflix release date?
The Trial of the Chicago 7 will be released 16th October on Netflix.
It is also currently showing in select cinemas around the country, having been released on 2nd October.
The original plan had been for the movie to be released in cinemas by Paramount on 25th September 2020. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the release was postponed before the film was snapped up by Netflix in a deal reportedly worth $50m.
Who is starring in The Trial of the Chicago 7?
The movie see many of Hollywood’s biggest stars portray the seven defendants. While Sacha Baron Cohen will play Abbie Hoffman (a leader of the ‘flower power’ movement), the film also features Eddie Redmayne (as Tom Hayden), Jeremy Strong (Jerry Rubin) and John Carroll Lynch (David Dellinger).
Upcoming US stars Noah Robbins also feature (as Lee Weiner), alongside Alex Sharp (Rennie Davis) and Daniel Flaherty (John Froines).
Watchmen actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II also stars as Black Panther activist Bobby Seale. Michael Keaton, Mark Rylance and William Hurt also take roles.
Who were the Chicago 7?
The Chicago 7 were a group of defendants accused of conspiracy and inciting to riot – alongside other charges linked to the anti-Vietnam War and countercultural protests in 1968.
The demonstrations took place over five days during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and involved over 15,000 people. Many arrests were made, with police using tear gas and batons on the crowds.
The US National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence would later declare the incident as a “police riot”.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 trailer
The first trailer for the film was released in September 2020, beginning with a shot from the court scene before flashing back to the events which saw the defendants put on trial – while a chorus of protesters repeatedly chant, “the whole world is watching”.
We also get a first glimpse of many of the film’s notable stars – including Sacha Baron Cohen and Joseph Gordon Levitt. You can watch the trailer in full below:
A second trailer was released in late September 2020, this time showing more of the trial in greater depth as well as Eddie Redmayne’s thick American accent:
The Trial of the Chicago 7 reviews
As an Aaron Sorkin film with an incredible cast, there was no doubt The Trial of the Chicago 7 would be well received. The question was how good – and early reviews have not only heaped praise on the film, but noted how hauntingly relevant it is to the present.
The #TrialoftheChicago7 could not possibly BE more relevant. Via Jeremy Strong from the post-film Q&A: "This movie is about protest and is really a celebration of protest, of dissent, of freedom when pitted against the forces of oppression where we find ourselves again today." pic.twitter.com/FPkoM1LKMQ
— Tara Bitran (@tarabitran) September 23, 2020
Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich noted that there are too many good performances to choose from.
The fact that I can’t decide if Jeremy Strong is the best performance in The Trial of the Chicago 7 should tell you how great this movie is. I THINK he and fellow Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II are best in show but I’m gonna have to watch 10 more times to decide for sure
— kateyrich (@kateyrich) September 23, 2020
Collider’s Editor-in-chief Steven Weintraub even called it one of his favourite films of the year.
Aaron Sorkin’s #TheTrialoftheChicago7 is so well done and one of my favorite films of 2020. So relevant to what is going on today. As I watched got angrier and angrier at the way they were treated by the police and our judicial system. Watch as soon as you can. pic.twitter.com/y3Hd1TxAw9
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) September 23, 2020
Variety’s Jazz Tangcay said: “No one does courtroom drama better than Aaron Sorkin”, while Slashfilm’s Chris Evangelista described the film as “a major actor’s showcase, with everyone going for BIG, BIG moments, but Mark Rylance walks away with the whole movie.”
The Trial of the Chicago 7 will be released on Netflix. You can also check out the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix to keep you entertained or visit to our TV Guide for more to watch.