Steven Spielberg to Direct Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in Pentagon Papers Drama ‘The Post’
Steven Spielberg currently has no fewer than 15 producer credits and at least 4 director credits to his name for projects that are either due out in the next few years or have yet to set a release date. So what’s one more epic addition to an already impressive slate?
As Deadline reports, Spielberg has signed on to direct Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in The Post, a drama based on the real-life events of 1971 during which the Washington Post exposed the so-called Pentagon Papers, “a secret Department of Defense study of U.S. political and military involvement in Vietnam.” The original spec script hails from Liz Hannah and was picked up by Pascal Pictures last year. It’s looking to be quite the acquisition thanks to the top-tier talent now lined up.
The Post will revisit the events of 1971 when military analyst Daniel Ellsberg photocopied the report and leaked it to the press. Originally published by The New York Times, the Washington Post stepped in in alliance with the Times to fight back against a temporary restraining order filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Hanks will play the Post’s editor Ben Bradlee, who also received portions of the study from Ellsberg and published them, while Streep will play publisher Kay Graham.
While this project certainly comes at an interesting time in U.S. history as lines of freedom of the press and privacy of personal information become blurred, it also comes in the midst of a crazy schedule for Spielberg. Recently, he’s has been casting The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara with Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac set to star, and is in post-production on Ready Player One. There’s also the war drama biopic It’s What I Do that has previously been announced, but has not made headlines in recent months. Oh, and then there’s a little film called Indiana Jones 5, which is due July 19, 2019, and likely isn’t moving from that slot.
For those of you keeping track at home, Spielberg and Hanks have previously collaborated as director and actor on four films: Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal and Bridge of Spies, not to mention their pairings as producers on quite a few projects. As for Spielberg and Streep, she played a voice role in the 2001 picture A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, and has narrated some of Spielberg’s other projects, including the upcoming Netflix series Five Came Back, and the 2015 documentary short, Auschwitz. Hanks and Streep have worked together in a pair of pictures as a producer and actor respectively: First in 2006’s The Ant Bully, and again in 2008’s Mamma Mia! Let’s get these two together on screen, shall we?