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Paul Greengrass‘s on-again, off-again affair with DreamWorks’ The Trial of the Chicago 7 is, well, off again. The Captain Phillips┬ádirector has just left the Aaron Sorkin-penned drama, two months after we heard he was in talks and five years after he originally started circling. Hit the jump to find out what happened.

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Steven SpielbergA couple days ago (last year even) it was reported that Sacha Baron Cohen had been cast as Abbie Hoffman in Steven Spielberg’s The Trial of the Chicago Seven. I like many other movie journalists wondered when Speilberg was going to find the time for this project with Tintin, Lincoln and Interstellar on his plate. Jim Windolf mentions in the new Indiana Jones Vanity Fair article that Spielberg is hoping to direct Chicago Seven next, and follow up with Lincoln. I assume this means that Jackson, not Spielberg, will be directing the first Tintin film.

Windolf also got a glance at a table of headshots of actors under consideration for the film. The list of big name actors includes: Will Smith, Taye Diggs, Adam Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Sacha Baron Cohen, Philip Seymour Hoffman (as William Kunstler). Smith and Diggs are likely in contention for the part.

Sacha Baron Cohen Cast in Steven Spielberg's The Trial of the Chicago Seven

The UK’s Sunday Times is reporting that Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) has been “persuaded by Steven Spielberg” to play Abbie Hoffman, in the upcoming film The Trial of the Chicago Seven.

Written by Aaron Sorkin, and based on the true story of the seven defendants charged with conspiracy and inciting to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Hoffman was a self-identified Jewish Road Warrior and communo-anarchist. Hoffman became a symbol of youth rebellion and radical activism during the 1970′s. He later committed suicide in 1989. Cohen will reportedly get around $6 million for the film.

Last year at the Sundance Film Festival, I watched a documentary on the subject called Chicago 10. And while I don’t know a lot about Abbie, I’m pretty convinced from the limited archival footage I’ve seen, that Cohen is the perfect person for the role. Who knows when Spielberg will find time to shoot this project, as his plate is pretty full already with post on Indy 4, Tintin, Lincoln and Interstellar.

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