By Yohana Desta. Photos: Getty Images.
Sometimes, the best way to reckon with the present is to look at the past. Steven Spielberg seems ready to do that with his latest project, a drama about The Washington Post’s involvement in the 1971 release of the Pentagon Papers. The hard-hitting film is set to star none other than Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, according to Deadline, though deals are still being negotiated. Hanks will likely play Post editor Ben Bradlee, while Streep will play publisher Kay Graham.
The ensuing chaos from the release of the Pentagon Papers—a leaked study from the Department of Defense that detailed the U.S. government’s military involvement in Vietnam—highlighted just how invaluable a free and independent press is. The New York Times and The Washington Post both published excerpts of the papers, which led to a Supreme Court case that sided with the press. In an age in which a sitting president loudly and routinely attacks the media and dubs credible outlets the “enemy of the people,” it’s more vital than ever to remember the lessons that history has already taught us. Hollywood is still figuring out the best way to deal with Trump, though the comedy world has already begun to find its way—and turning to the past might be a brilliant start. A film like this one will also serve as a callback to the iconic, essential political films of the 1970s.
The film is based on a spec script titled The Post by Liz Hannah, snapped up last fall by Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures. Pascal will produce the film, alongside Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger. And yes, someone has already beaten you to the joke about the irony of Pascal making a movie about a famous leak, following the notorious Sony hack of 2014. But you know what’s really great for optics? A politically charged Spielberg movie featuring two of the biggest movie stars alive.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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