September 23, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

Press has officially started for Eddie’s newest film The Trial Of The Chicago 7. I can’t even begin to express how excited I am for this film. Eddie speaks with Sean O’Connell from CinemaBlend.

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” actors Eddie Redmayne and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II discuss their upcoming Netflix film (from writer/director Aaron Sorkin) in this interview with CinemaBlend Managing Director Sean O’Connell. Find out what they think makes Sorkin’s scripts stand out, how he was able to make the serious subject matter funny and more.

September 23, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

Two images from the Hollywood Reporter shoot.

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Eddie Redmayne Web > Outtakes > 2020 > 001

September 23, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

The cast of The Trial of the Chicago 7 is featured on the cover of the new issue of the Hollywood Reporter.

The director of the Netflix film, which stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Redmayne and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, reveals why it took nearly 20 years to get the project about the politically motivated prosecution of protestors made and why it couldn’t be more timely: “I never imagined today would go so much like 1968.”
In October 2019, hundreds of protesters marched down Chicago’s Michigan Avenue toward the Hilton, chanting phrases like “No justice, no peace!” and “A people united will never be defeated!” as police in riot gear descended on the crowd with billy clubs and tear gas. Earnest and energized, clad in 1960s period costumes and flanked by vintage police vehicles, this group thought they were acting out the past, staging a scene from Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7. As it turned out, they were performing the future, too.

Sorkin’s film, which opens in select theaters Sept. 25 and hits Netflix on Oct. 16, tells the story of the riots at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention and the circus-like trial of political activists that followed the next year. Thanks to Hollywood development hell, the movie is arriving 14  years after Steven Spielberg first mentioned the idea to Sorkin but just as its themes and plot points — civil unrest, a self-proclaimed “law and order” president’s vilification of protesters (Nixon then, Trump now), the police’s excessive use of force, tensions within the Democratic Party over how far left to move — have become bracingly current.

“I never wanted the film to be about 1968,” Sorkin says in an interview over Zoom from his house in the Hollywood Hills on Labor Day weekend. “I never wanted it to be an exercise in nostalgia or a history lesson. I wanted it to be about today. But I never imagined that today would get so much like 1968.”

For only the second time in a career spanning nine films as a screenwriter, Sorkin serves as director with Chicago 7, helming a sprawling ensemble cast that includes Eddie Redmayne as anti-war activist Tom Hayden, Sacha Baron Cohen as Youth International Party (Yippie) provocateur Abbie Hoffman, Succession’s Jeremy Strong as counterculture figure Jerry Rubin and Watchmen’s Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Panther party co-founder Bobby Seale. There are undeniable parallels not only between the film and the present political moment but also between the performance-art activism of the actors and the men they’re playing, most vividly Cohen, who, like Hoffman, has made a career of political self-expression through comedic stunts, including crashing a far-right rally in Olympia, Washington, this summer while pretending to be a racist country singer. (Cohen, who shoots most of his satirical projects incognito, impishly calls reports of his appearance at the rally “fake news.”)

Eight months after Sorkin filmed the protest scenes in Chicago, Abdul-Mateen was marching in Black Lives Matter protests in West Hollywood, as was Strong in Brooklyn. “There’s power when a lot of people come together to protest out of anger, out of frustration,” Abdul-Mateen says. “Everybody has a role in the revolution; this film shows that.”

Though the movie feels crafted for this political moment, it was born of another. At Sorkin’s first meeting with Spielberg, “I remember him saying, ‘It would be great if we could have this out before the election,'” Sorkin says. The election Spielberg was talking about was 2008’s, when Barack Obama and Joe Biden faced John McCain and Sarah Palin.

The film hit multiple roadblocks, beginning with the 2007-08 writers strike and continuing as financing faltered repeatedly, a fate illustrated by the more than 30 producers who can claim some sort of credit on Chicago 7. It took another unscheduled detour this summer after Sorkin finished it as the pandemic worsened, and the odds of original distributor Paramount mounting a successful theatrical release before the Nov. 3 election seemed increasingly slim. For some involved with the film, there is a question about the ethics of Hollywood inviting audiences to return to theaters before a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available. “There’s a moral quandary, that we, the motion picture business, have to be careful that we don’t become the tobacco industry, where we’re encouraging people to do something we know is potentially lethal,” says Cohen.

Before his visit to Spielberg’s Pacific Palisades home to discuss the project on a Saturday afternoon in 2006, Sorkin knew next to nothing about the Chicago 7. The federal government had charged seven defendants — Hoffman, Rubin, Hayden, David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, John Froines and Lee Weiner — with conspiracy for their participation in the protests against the Vietnam War outside the Democratic National Convention. (Originally the men were known as the Chicago 8 and included Seale, who asked to have his trial separated from that of the others and postponed so that he could be represented by his preferred lawyer, who was ill; that trial never took place.) When Spielberg proposed a movie about the riots and the trial that followed, Sorkin, who was 7 in 1968, said, ” ‘You know, that sounds great. Count me in.’ As soon as I left his house, I called my father and said, ‘Dad, do you know anything about a riot that happened in 1968 or a crazy conspiracy trial that followed?’ I was just saying yes to Steven.”

Despite his ignorance, Sorkin was a logical choice to write the project: Having penned Broadway’s A Few Good Men and its 1992 film adaptation as well as the long-running NBC series West Wing, he’d shown a flair for dramatizing courtroom procedures and liberal politics, and he turned in his first draft of the Chicago 7 script in 2007. Originally, Spielberg planned to direct the project himself, but by the time the writers strike was over, he had moved on and a number of other potential directors circled, including Paul Greengrass, Ben Stiller, Peter Berg and Gary Ross, though none was able to get it off the ground. “There was just a feeling that, ‘Look, this isn’t an Avengers film,'” Sorkin says of the studios’ move away from mid-budget dramas and toward action tentpoles in the 2010s. “This isn’t an easy sell at the box office. And there are big scenes, riots, crowd scenes. How can this movie be done for the budget that makes sense for what the expectation is at the box office?”

As the project languished, Sorkin tried writing it as a play, ultimately spending 18 months on a fruitless effort to fashion a stage treatment. “What I didn’t like was having a script in my drawer,” he says. “I was just thinking, ‘Jeez, this is a good movie and it feels like it’s stillborn.'”

It was the confluence of two events that ultimately revived the film with Sorkin in the director’s chair in 2018 — the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the 2017 release of Sorkin’s well-received directorial debut, Molly’s Game, which doubled its production budget at the box office. “This is before George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and police protests or confrontations,” Sorkin says. “This is just when Donald Trump was musing nostalgically about the old days when they used to carry that guy [a protester] out of here on a stretcher and punch the crap out of him.”

With Trump’s throwback rhetoric lending the subject matter a new timeliness and Sorkin’s directing chops confirmed in Spielberg’s eyes, the movie moved forward with its screenwriter at the helm.

Cross Creek Pictures came in to finance, and Paramount bought the domestic rights. But all those years in development had left an expensive imprint on the project — a jaw-dropping $11  million had been spent on casting costs, producing fees and the optioning of Brett Morgen’s 2007 documentary about the event, Chicago 10, leaving just $24  million for the actual 36-day production.

One way Sorkin attempts to achieve a sense  of scope despite that budget is by intercutting real black-and-white news footage with his dramatized protests. He rounded out his large cast with a deep bench of experienced and award-winning actors including Oscar winner Mark Rylance as defense attorney William Kunstler, Oscar nominee Frank Langella as Judge Julius Hoffman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as prosecutor Richard Schultz and Oscar nominee Michael Keaton as former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark — with the filmmaker and many of his actors working for scale. (Abdul-Mateen and Strong both became first-time Emmy winners Sept.  20.)

Sorkin shot the protest scenes on location in Chicago and built a courtroom set in an old church sanctuary in Paterson, New Jersey, because none of the available courtroom locations in the Garden State conveyed the scope he wanted. “If we’re saying the whole world is watching, I want a packed courtroom for six months full of press and spectators,” Sorkin says. “I wanted the big, cavernous feeling of the federal government and its power coming down on these people.”

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September 20, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

Eddie spoke with Cinema Blend and confirmed that the cast and crew of Fantastic Beasts 3 is back on set!

Like many other films, Fantastic Beasts 3 was put on hold in early spring. While we got word earlier this summer that production would resume soon, the official start date wasn’t certain. However, now it appears that they’re back in business. During a recent interview for his upcoming film, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Eddie Redmayne told CinemaBlend’s Sean O’Connell that the cast and crew of Fantastic Beasts 3 are back to work:

It’s interesting because we’ve started shooting now. We’re two weeks in, and again, it’s a whole new process. It’s a whole new normal. Testing frequently, masks. And I wondered, actually, whether the masks would affect creativity, in some ways. Maybe that was a bit ignorant, but I just thought, as humans, do we need interaction to spark from each other. What is really reassuring is that it is a different process, but it still feels like it’s fizzing and that everyone is working at the top of their game.

Eddie Redmayne didn’t go into great detail surrounding safety protocols on the Fantastic Beasts 3 set, although he seems to confirm that crew members are required to wear masks on set. This news shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who’ve been watching the way Hollywood has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July, Warner Bros. executives stressed that the studio would be enforcing strict protocols to keep casts and crews safe as they headed back into production. The Batman had to close up shop shortly after resuming filming after a crew member — allegedly Robert Pattinson — tested positive for COVID-19. But if anything, that’s a sign that the studio’s reporting system works.

Hopefully, the Fantastic Beasts 3 crew will be able to complete the film without further delay. There are still a lot of unknowns regarding what fans can expect to see in the latest installment of the franchise, though we do know the characters will be heading to Hogwarts. While cast members like Dan Fogler have hinted at big events on the horizon — and the potential introduction of other Harry Potter characters into the prequel series — the filmmakers aren’t revealing all of the film’s secrets yet. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently scheduled to hit theaters on November 12, 2021.

September 14, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

Netflix has released the teaser trailer 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.

September 12, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

Netflix gives us a small glimpse of Eddie’s new film The Trial of the Chicago 7 … and promises a trailer tomorrow! Who is excited?

July 24, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

Netflix has released two stills of Eddie as Tom Hayden for his new film The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Gallery Links:
Eddie Redmayne Web > Films > 2020 | The Trial Of The Chicago 7 > Production Stills

July 23, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

So exciting!!!! Thank you to Variety for the information!

Streaming giant Netflix has set an Oct. 16 launch date for Aaron Sorkin’s star-studded political drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” — three weeks before the national election.

Netflix closed the deal on July 1 with Cross Creek Pictures for the drama, which recaps the trial that followed what were intended to be peaceful protests that turned violent at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The organizers of the protest, including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale, were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot.

Netlix also released first-look photos on Wednesday on Twitter, noting the “big hair energy” on several of the stars. Mark Strong’s Jerry Rubin character appears to be smoking marijuana in a classroom in one shot.

Streaming giant Netflix has set an Oct. 16 launch date for Aaron Sorkin’s star-studded political drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” — three weeks before the national election.

Netflix closed the deal on July 1 with Cross Creek Pictures for the drama, which recaps the trial that followed what were intended to be peaceful protests that turned violent at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The organizers of the protest, including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale, were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot.

Netlix also released first-look photos on Wednesday on Twitter, noting the “big hair energy” on several of the stars. Mark Strong’s Jerry Rubin character appears to be smoking marijuana in a classroom in one shot.

June 11, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

Eddie released a statement to Variety about recent tweets done by author J.K. Rowling.

Eddie Redmayne, star of the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, is speaking out against J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans tweets, as the controversy surrounding the author and her beliefs continues to swirl.

“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself,” Redmayne said in a statement provided to Variety. “This is an ongoing process.”

“As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand,” he continued. “I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”

Rowling, the creator of “Harry Potter” and its “Fantastic Beasts” spinoff series, posted a series of tweets on Saturday arguing that discussion of gender identity invalidates biological sex.

“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth,” Rowling wrote. “The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women — ie, to male violence — ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences — is a nonsense.”

Queer activists and organizations such as GLAAD, as well as fans of the series, denounced Rowling’s comments, noting that they denied the lived consequences of trans people’s experiences.

In addition to his work as Newt Scamander in “Fantastic Beasts,” Redmayne earned an Oscar nomination for his work in “The Danish Girl.” He played Lili Elbe, a Danish transgender woman who was among the early recipients of sex reassignment surgery.

On Tuesday, Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as Potter in the film series, also criticized Rowling’s remarks in an essay posted to the website of the Trevor Project, a non-profit dedicated to crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ people. He noted that nearly 80% of transgender and non-binary youth are discriminated against due to their gender identity.

“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote. “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”

April 1, 2020 Ali Leave a Comment

For actor and OPPO Global Brand Ambassador, Eddie Redmayne, the art of acting is a constant pursuit to be better. To strive and struggle in order to overcome challenges, to reach your ultimate potential.

and a look at the filming of the ad

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