Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are in negotiations to star in THE POST, a journalism drama about the Pentagon Papers that Steven Spielberg is in discussions to direct for 20th Century Fox and Amblin Entertainment, the Tracking Board has confirmed.
Liz Hannah wrote the script on spec before it was purchased last fall by Amy Pascal, who will produce under her Pascal Pictures banner. Spielberg and his longtime collaborator Kristie Macosko Krieger will also produce, while Rachel O’Connor will executive produce along with Adam Somner and Star Thrower Entertainment’s Tim White and Trevor White.
Hanks and Streep will play Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and publisher Kay Graham, respectively. Together, they challenged the federal government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers, which revealed new, classified information about the Vietnam War. At the center of this was military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the 47-volume study to the New York Times, which published the first three installments before the Washington Post took up the important cause — a timely one at that, given President Trump’s threats against a free press.
20th Century Fox and Amblin Entertainment will co-finance the film, with Fox handling domestic distribution and Amblin handling international under its output deals with Universal, eOne, Reliance and others. The project reunites Spielberg with Fox chief Stacey Snider, who worked under him at DreamWorks.
Spielberg has previously directed Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal and Bridge of Spies, while Streep voiced the Blue Fairy in A.I. and narrates Five Came Back, the upcoming Netflix documentary about WWII’s impact on cinema that was executive produced by Spielberg.
Spielberg recently wrapped Ready Player One for Warner Bros. and is in the midst of casting The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, which will star Oscar Isaac and Mark Rylance.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief