Originally, the film adaptation of The Trial of the Chicago 7 was set to have Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair. But Mr. Spielberg had to drop out in order to team up with Peter Jackson on the massive project that is Tintin. Soon after Spielberg stepped away from the project, we started a nasty rumor about Paul Greengrass being involved. And while Greengrass was at one point very interested, he has since moved on to other things, including working toward a fourth Bourne movie.
So Chicago 7 was left standing there, always a bridesmaid, waiting for a big name director to swoop in and give it some love. And who better to be that big name director than Ben Stiller, who has just come off the success of Tropic Thunder, a movie that is in no way related to Chicago 7. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stiller is ‘very much in the exploratory stage’ with Dreamworks and Spielberg, who is still on the project as a producer.
As I mentioned before, this wouldn’t be Stiller’s first go-round as a director — his resume includes not only Tropic Thunder, but also Zoolander, The Cable Guy and Reality Bites. Of course, The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a serious political drama about the events of the 1968 Democratic Convention — and none of those titles were either ‘serious’ or ‘political.’ Still, if Ben Stiller would ever like to grow up as a director — something that we would be okay with, but don’t find necessary — he is going to have to take on something a bit more ambitious than jokes about the mentally handicapped. Should he decide to stick with the comedy though, I doubt anyone would mind.
How would you feel about Ben Stiller taking on The Trial of the Chicago 7? Is it a smart upward career move, or a disaster waiting to happen? Also, in order to get people to take him seriously on set, should Stiller use Blue Steel, Le Tigre or Magnum?