Spielberg, Hanks, Streep Team for Pentagon Papers Movie

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are set to team up on an upcoming drama about the Washington Post‘s publication of the Pentagon Papers, according to a report.

Deadline reported Monday that the trio are negotiating contracts to go to work on The Post for Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures.

The story would revolve around the secret intelligence reports conducted on U.S. military involvement in Vietnam between 1945 and 1967 — officially known as the Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force — that was first authorized by then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and later leaked to the press by analyst-turned-anti-war whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

Ellsberg first brought the documents to the New York Times, which published a series of explosive reports in 1971 that shocked the nation and put the federal government on defense.

The government sued the Times to stop publication, claiming the reports would harm the country’s national security interests, and so Ellsberg leaked a copy of the report to the Washington Post, which picked up where the Times left off.

Ultimately, the Times and the Post teamed up to sue the federal government, claiming the right to publish the reports based on the First Amendment and the public’s right to know. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the newspapers and the rest is history.

Hanks would play Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and Streep is reportedly set to play Post publisher Kay Graham. Spielberg has previously directed Hanks on four separate occasions, in Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal and 2015’s Bridge of Spies.

Fox and Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment will co-finance the picture, according to Deadline, while Amy Pascal will produce alongside Spielberg and Bridge of Spies‘ Kristie Macosko Krieger.

 

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum


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