Aaron Sorkin Film 'Trial of Chicago 7' Shuts Down (Exclusive)

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Aaron Sorkin

Sources say that budgetary concerns forced Amblin Partners to pull the plug on the project, which was eyeing a February start.

It’s case closed for The Trial of the Chicago 7.

The Amblin Partners drama that was to be directed by Aaron Sorkin has been shut down.

Sources say that budgetary concerns forced the company to pull the plug on the feature project, which was in preproduction and heading toward a February start.

Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne and Jonathan Majors were on board to star in the pic about a group of antiwar activists who were accused by the federal government of conspiracy and incitement to riot because of the protests surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

While the event may have been a defining moment of the 1960s, concern arose that the project’s budget was too high for a period drama about an event that on paper does not seem like it would immediately connect to audiences. Sources point to the performances of recent dramas such as Detroit and First Man as similar examples.

The development is the latest to befall Chicago 7, which Amblin has been developing since at least 2008, when Steven Spielberg was planning on directing it. Then it was derailed by the WGA strike and, in later years, both Paul Greengrass and Ben Stiller flirted with the idea of presiding over it as helmers. Sorkin came on board as director in October.

Amblin insiders say the company remains committed to the project and will, with Sorkin, regroup and redevelop it.

In a statement, Amblin said, "Aaron just adapted To Kill a Mockingbird, which is premiering on Broadway this Thursday. He is currently evaluating his schedule and commitments to determine the best time and way to make The Trial of the Chicago 7. Amblin remains involved as a producer."