Steven Spielberg tackling the Pentagon Papers feels remarkably timely. Not only does his new movie The Post deal with the first female publisher of The Washington Times, Katharine Graham (played here by Meryl Steep), but also explores topics that are key to our nation's current survival in the face of an authoritarian leader arguably worse than Richard Nixon (freedom of the press, government secrets being withheld from the public, etc.).
The film recently screened in New York (followed by a Q&A with Spielberg, Steep, co-star Tom Hanks, plus a few other members of the cast), and though reactions to it are (ironically) embargoed, the legendary director shared plenty of insight as to why The Post was so important for him to make right now. From the way 20th Century Fox is marketing the Academy Award contender, they know it too:
Written by young screenwriter Liz Hannah (with a re-write by Spotlight's Josh Singer), The Post follows an unlikely partnership between Graham and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light. Were it not for the period garb, this would feel modern AF.
The Post hits theaters in limited release on December 22nd, with a wide release on January 12, 2018.