Steven Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers Movie Now Titled ‘The Post’
With the craziness of the Toronto International Film Festival ramping up and talk of Oscar beginning to hum among those of us interested in such things, it’s easy enough to forget that we’re going to have a new movie from Steven Spielberg before the year is out. With nary a poster, trailer or early production still to gape at, word has been quiet up until now. But today brings news that reminds us that this film is indeed happening, and while the latest item won’t really give us any idea about what to expect the film, it’s still not nothing.
Variety reported last night that Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers drama, heretofore simply titled The Papers, has now been re-christened. The new title is The Post, in reference to The Washington Post, the newspaper critical in the exposure and publication of the damning Pentagon Papers report that triggered America's withdrawal from Vietnam. The story of the determined journalists who railed tirelessly against a hostile legal bureaucracy to bring the public a document exposing the U.S. as having entered Vietnam under false-ish pretenses, the concept calls to mind All The President‘s Men. Spielberg’s film will open on December 22 in select cities to squeak in before the Oscar deadline, and then go wide on January 12 of the new year. And in case you’ve forgotten, the already-announced cast is stacked, collecting Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Alison Brie, Mr. Show creators Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, Fargo stars Jesse Plemons and Carrie Coon, and plenty of others.
As much as it pains me to make the observation, naming your movie after a newspaper in the year 2017 is a faintly political act. At a time when the government wages a tireless campaign to discredit and destabilize news media, mounting a film showing the vital work they do to expose institutional malfeasance ... this could be a powder keg.