Sacha Baron Cohen Cast in Spielberg's Trial of the Chicago Seven
Sacha Baron Cohen aka Borat, Bruno, and now Signor Pirelli, has joined the cast of Steven Spielberg's The Trial of the Chicago Seven as Abbie Hoffman. The UK's Sunday Times reports that Cohen was "persuaded by Steven Spielberg to move from comedy to serious politics by playing a hippie opponent of the Vietnam war." Abbie Hoffman was the leader of the group of seven individuals who were charged with conspiracy and inciting the riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. A previous independent movie, Chicago 10, was the Sundance opening night film in 2007 and was a documentary on the riots and trial as well.
The Trial of the Chicago Seven is a new film written by Aaron Sorkin based on the events and story surrounding the riots and trial. Investigators blamed Hoffman and seven others who were taken to trial and mistreated by a biased judge. Hoffman was a self-identified Jewish Road Warrior and communo-anarchist who became a symbol of youth rebellion and radical activism during the 1970's.
This film, supposedly to be directed by Steven Spielberg (although he has an incredibly crowded proposed upcoming schedule), is supposed to be closer in tone to his previous film, Munich. After personally seeing how powerful of a documentary Chicago 10 was, I'm certain Spielberg could really turn this into an incredible film. And after seeing Cohen in Sweeney Todd as Signor Pirelli, I'm confident he can pull off any character and any role with as much skill as Borat.
I'd suggest any real Americans and politically inclined individuals read up about the Chicago Seven on Wikipedia. It was a pretty phenomenal event in America's history and has only recently picked up steam again since Chicago 10 debuted at Sundance.