Meryl Streep, Spielberg, Tom Hanks to team up for film on journalism and steal the 'Spotlight

FP Staff

Mar,07 2017 19:42 59 IST

If you think Spotlight was the best film on journalism to win at the Oscars, there's a new project here to steal the spotlight(pun intended)

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg will be joining hands with actors Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep for The Post — a film centered on the Washington Posts publication of the 1971 Pentagon Papers.

Spielberg will direct the film, while Hanks and Streep will star in it.

Image courtesy: Creative Commons

Image courtesy: Creative Commons

The film is a drama about the Washington Post’s role in exposing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, and how the Post’s editor Ben Bradlee and publisher Kay Graham challenged the federal government over their right to publish them.

According to History.com, the pentagon papers were the classified study about the Vietnam War that was commissioned by the Defense Department and revealed unreported facts about a secret dramatic escalation of troops and bombings in what was appearing to be an unwinnable war.

Daniel Ellsberg and The New York Times. Image courtesy: Twitter/collage

Daniel Ellsberg and The New York Times. Image courtesy: Twitter/collage

Military analyst Daniel Ellsberg became convinced it should be absorbed to set future policy, and leaked the classified information to The New York Times. That paper published a scathing first installment that charged the Johnson administration had systematically lied to the public and to Congress about Vietnam. When the incumbent Nixon administration Attorney General John Mitchell and Nixon failed to get the paper to stop, they got a federal court injunction forcing the Times to cease after three installments. he Washington Post grabbed the baton (Ellsberg gave the study to Bradlee) and published more revelations from the 47-volume study.

Hanks would play Bradlee while Streep will be seen as Graham.

If the reported casting holds up, Hanks will be at least the fourth different actor to play Bradlee. The Post‘s longtime editor, who died in 2013, was previously portrayed by Jason Robards in All the President’s Men, Henderson Forsythe in Chances Are, and G.D. Spradlin in Dick.

(With agency inputs)