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Ben Stiller In Talks To Direct Chicago 7
Latest director to meet with Dreamworks

23 October 2008  |  Written by Chris Hewitt  |  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Now here’s a surprise – Ben Stiller, of all people, is the latest director to enter talks with Dreamworks about directing Trial Of The Chicago 7, the movie about riots at the 1968 Democratic convention and the aftermath.

We say ‘surprise’ because Stiller, of course, is primarily known as a comedic director, and this is heavyweight dramatic material – enough to have attracted the interest of, initially, Steven Spielberg and then, last summer, Paul Greengrass.

But, with the success of Tropic Thunder re-establishing him as a director to watch, Stiller is clearly seeking to branch out and show that he has more strings to his bow.

The talks with Dreamworks are very much at an early stage, but the Aaron Sorkin-penned Trial Of The Chicago 7 is on a shortlist of films that Dreamworks inherited from the breakaway from Paramount and wishes to get into production as quickly as possible. So we’d expect a firm ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on this one asap.

What do you think, readers – is Stiller capable of making a hard-hitting political picture? Or should he stay in his wheelhouse? As ever, use the space below to let us know your thoughts.

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Your Comments

L: Manfrendshensindshen No offence, Ben, but you against Spielberg or Greengrass? To quote Austrian fashion icon Bruno: ich don't think so! To put it into a logical context: I prefer Stiller to some random by-the-numbers hack, but both the beardy and the long-haired one have proven themselves to by exceptionally worthy of what is probably a great script by the great Mr. Sorkin. pielberg's been off the project for a while, and I think Greengrass was on the project even before Spielber More

Posted by Pigeon Army at 08:12 on 25 October 2008 | Report This Post

hmmm... maybe
Ben Stiller and Aaron Sorkin?? I take it no-one trusts Rob Reiner anymore, not now after that Bucket list fiasco?? I suppose Stiller could do it, Tropic Thunder was well done, but he's still one of the last names you'd ever expect to be announced! More

Posted by tysmuse2 at 22:19 on 24 October 2008 | Report This Post

Maybe More

Posted by Hamsterwalt at 07:43 on 24 October 2008 | Report This Post

Maybe More

Posted by Hamsterwalt at 07:42 on 24 October 2008 | Report This Post

we will never know if he can do drama unless he is given a chance More

Posted by Arcanine at 20:11 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

Why not.
Many comedic talents have done great drama both in front and behind the camera - Jim Carrey, Woody Allen, Dan Akroyd, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Michael Palin (mixed bag there but all have done at least one good drama) More

Posted by Taz69 at 19:48 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

The man can do Drama too..
Or has everyone forgotten Reality Bites? Just give him a chance. And if he fucks it up, then hey, he'll get back to making (most of us) laugh. More

Posted by coomi01 at 16:02 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

I enjoyed Tropic Thunder, but...
...It felt a little too choppy or patchy to really demonstrate that Stiller is up to snuff on tackling something serious. Still, if it happens, I hope to be proven blissfully wrong. More

Posted by O_Goncho at 13:14 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

I totally admire Ben Stiller's work, wether as actor, producer or director. But since most of his pics in the past were quite unconventionally hilarious and sometimes "over the top", I really wonder wether he is able to helm such a dramatically anticipated movie. Nevertheless I cross all my fingers in case he gets the job, so that the movie becomes the movie it has to become. More

Posted by Galli at 13:12 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

I'm all for letting him do something serious, but since it's the great Mr Sorkin who wrote it, i want it done well so he can't do this one. It shouldn't be an experiment, he can do that with another script by some unknown writer. Oh and i'm 20 and British and i wanna see this film. More

Posted by Festival Paul at 12:37 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

No offence, Ben, but you against Spielberg or Greengrass? To quote Austrian fashion icon Bruno: ich don't think so! To put it into a logical context: I prefer Stiller to some random by-the-numbers hack, but both the beardy and the long-haired one have proven themselves to by exceptionally worthy of what is probably a great script by the great Mr. Sorkin. More

Posted by Manfrendshensindshen at 12:15 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

still did a great job with Tropic thunder, alot of the direction looked like a flat out action movie. And the three movie trailers at the start of the flick were also another great display of his ability to direct. I'd love to see him do this, especially as it appears Stiller's career seems to be on a cycle that goes. Great movie, not so great movie, average movie, terrible movie, god awful movie, oh please god make it stop movie, Great movie. Hopefully Chicago 7 will break this cycle o More

Posted by clarkkent at 11:51 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

I’d like to see this happen.  Ben Stiller is great when doing comedy but it would be good to see him diversify a tad and see if he is any good at other genres. More

Posted by morg1138 at 09:44 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

What about Chicago 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6? More

Posted by Felix at 09:36 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

Reality Bites, i just hit me after i submitted the comment, fuck sake. More

Posted by Hughezy at 09:23 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

well, Stiller did that filim with Ethan Hawke (which for the life of me i can't remember the name of) and that wasn't exactly a comedy and it wasn't bad at all. anyway, Stiller isn't even that funny. More

Posted by Hughezy at 09:22 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

Excellent, why not? Being perfectly honest, whilst I'm sure it's a fine piece of drama, the subject isn't exactly a big sell to anyone except yanks, of a certain age and political inclination. Your average 17 year old Brit is not going to watch this, period. So sure, give Stiller a chance. I think he's capable enough, and if he isn't it's hardly like he's ruined the most exciting prospect in cinema, is it. More

Posted by keir at 09:20 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

Comedy is equally difficult to direct as drama, so why shouldn't he be able to do it? I can't help casting my mind back to a particular episode of Extras however....... More

Posted by skeletonjack at 08:40 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

uh... really? Well i ain't seen Tropic Thunder (cos it looks crap) and i'm not aware of what else he's i really have no idea if he'd be able to do this, i'd much prefer a more established director to tackle this but i suppose i'll give him a chance More

Posted by richCie at 08:33 on 23 October 2008 | Report This Post

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