The Sully actor will reportedly star as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, while Meryl will play publisher Kay Graham in The Post, which centers on Bradlee and Graham’s successful efforts to have the papers detailing U.S. military and political involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 published in 1971.
The Indiana Jones director will also serve as a producer on the film. It is unclear when Spielberg will start filming the movie, but according to Deadline.com, it will be before he begins working on The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.
During the Vietnam War, military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who originally supported the military campaign, came to oppose it and secretly copied papers from the report and turned them over to editors at The New York Times. The reports were subsequently published by editors at the newspaper and several others including the Washington Post. After government officials tried to stop the editors from reporting on the content they took the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court and won.
Ellsberg was indicted on criminal charges including conspiracy, espionage and stealing government property for his actions, but they were subsequently dismissed.
The Post will be Spielberg’s fifth pairing with Hanks, who he has previously directed in Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal and Bridge of Spies. He also worked with Streep on A.I. Artificial Intelligence and she narrates his Netflix documentary Five Came Back.