Netflix has released the first teaser trailer for Aaron Sorkin‘s The Trial of the Chicago 7. The teaser arrives just two months after the first images from the A-list political drama made their way to the internet. Now, we not only get to see more of Sorkin’s sophomore outing as a feature film director, but we get to hear it, too.
And boy, oh boy, does this movie have a lot to say in its teaser. The Trial of the Chicago 7 focuses on the trial which took place following what was meant to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Led by some of the most notable organizers of the era, what began as an intended peaceful protest ended with seven men in handcuffs and later, on trial and facing charges of intending to incite a riot. Guiding the Trial of the Chicago 7 story is an incredible cast led by Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Mark Rylance.
The teaser makes chillingly insightful use of the “peaceful protestors vs. the cops” imagery — the same haunting imagery which today floods our social media feeds. I’m not sure how ready we are to be confronted with a dramatization of things we’ve seen play out, brutally, in real-time here in the present day. And while we’re forced to contemplate that possibility, we also have to reckon with how clear it is that Netflix is keen to get Trial of the Chicago 7 in the awards race based on this first look. (Heaven help us when the official trailer gets here.) We’re given a taste of the brewing onscreen face-off between the political activists and the law at the heart of this story. The teaser stinger between Cohen’s Abbie Hoffman and Gordon-Levitt’s Richard Schultz feels perfectly teed up for the kind of searing monologue work Sorkin does so well. If that’s the case, you know this movie will make a meal out of any moment which could get it nominated. As is often the case with Sorkin and his work, I have a feeling the conversation around the timeliness of The Trial of the Chicago 7 and the political issues it addresses will be one we’ll have begrudgingly rather than eagerly.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 debuts in select theaters and on Netflix on October 16. You can watch the teaser trailer below. Get even more Netflix updates here.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Trial of the Chicago 7:
What was intended to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest — including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, and Bobby Seale — were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot, and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.
Allie Gemmill is the Weekend Contributing Editor for Collider. You can follow them on Twitter @_matineeidle.