Is DreamWorks mulling laugh riot for 'Chicago'?


"The Trial of the Chicago 7," the DreamWorks project about the 1968 riots at the Democratic convention and their aftermath, is a high priority for the newly configured studio and is moving forward quickly.

The latest well-known director who has met on the project is Ben Stiller; while the discussions for Stiller to helm the film are very much at the exploratory stage, the actor and DreamWorks are mulling whether such a pairing would work for both parties. A "Chicago" gig would mark a departure for Stiller, who has directed such successful comedies as "Tropic Thunder" and "Zoolander" but has not helmed a serious political picture of this kind before.

Stiller follows several other notables who have been associated with directing the Amblin- MacDonald/Parkes project, including Paul Greengrass, who was a candidate during the summer, and even Steven Spielberg, who at one time was mentioned as a possibility to direct.

Under terms of the DW-Par separation agreement, DreamWorks has taken over development of the project. The Aaron Sorkin-penned "Chicago," which had been eyed for a spring '08 shoot, is on a very short list of projects that the company wants to put into production quickly.

As for Stiller's potential involvement, DreamWorks could be eager to keep the hyphenate happy as the company moves into its financing deal with Reliance and hopes to take Stiller production shingle Red Hour Films with it. (Steven Zeitchik)