Just a few months after landing one of the top spots on last year’s Black List, a new project has just found some A-list talent behind and in front of the camera. Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep have signed on to star, with Steven Spielberg coming aboard to direct The Post. Liz Hannah wrote the spec script that tied for second place on Black List, behind the Madonna biopic Blonde Ambition. Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures bought the spec script last fall before it landed on the BLack List.
Deadline reports that 20th Century Fox and Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Entertainment will co-finance the movie. 20th Century Fox will distribute the film domestically, with Amblin handling international distribution through its output deals with Universal, eOne, Reliance and others. This also marks the fifth time Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have teamed up, following 1998’s Saving Private Ryan, 2002’s Catch Me If You Can, 2004’s The Terminal and 2015’s Bridge of Spies. Meryl Streep previously voiced the blue fairy for Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.
The story follows The Washington Post’s involvement in the Pentagon Papers, and how Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and publisher Kay Graham had to fight the government just to publish their work. Tom Hanks is being eyed to play Ben Bradlee, with Meryl Streep playing Kay Graham. It is unclear at this point who will play Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the classified study commissioned by the Department of Defense about the Vietnam War, which included numerous unreported facts about the escalation of troops and secret bombings. Daniel Ellsberg leaked the study to the New York Times, who wrote a scathing report that charged the Lyndon B. Johnson administration of lying to the American public, and to Congress, about the Vietnam War.
Attorney general John Mitchell then filed a federal court injunction to get the New York Times to stop publishing the Pentagon Papers after just three installments, which lead Daniel Ellsberg to pass the study to Ben Bradlee at the Washington Post, who would publish many more findings from the 47-volume study. The New York Times and the Washington Post appealed to the Supreme Court, who ruled in their favor, 6-3, that the newspapers had the right to publish the Pentagon Papers under the First Amendment. Daniel Ellsberg was charged with conspiracy, espionage and theft of government property, but all the charges were eventually dropped.
Tom Hanks is coming off Inferno, his third Robert Langdon adventure, and he will next be seen in The Circle alongside Emma Watson and John Boyega, which hits theaters on April 28. Meryl Streep is coming off her Oscar-nominated turn in Florence Foster Jenkins, and she is currently filming Mary Poppins Returns, where she plays Topsy. Steven Spielberg is coming off The BFG and he is currently in post-production on Ready Player One, which is set for release on March 30, 2018. Hopefully we’ll hear more about The Post very soon.