Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep to star in drama about Pentagon Papers

The film will focus on the Washington Post's publication of the 1971 Pentagon Papers, which made headlines around the world when the newspaper's editor and publisher challenged the US federal government over their right to publish them.

The full details of the film are still being negotiated, and there's no time yet known on when it might be released, according to Deadline.

Titled "The Post" and based on a spec script by Liz Hannah, the movie chronicles the Washington Post's early-1970s efforts to expose the Pentagon Papers, which unmasked the United States government's deception about the scale of the Vietnam War. After the third article, the U.S. Department of Justice got a temporary restraining order against further publication of the material, arguing that it was detrimental to U.S. national security. This will be the first time the Hollywood legends have appeared in a film together.

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The Times and the Post both continued to publish the documents after the court order.

Hanks is set to play Post editor Ben Bradlee opposite Streep as the newspaper's publisher Katharine Graham. Spielberg has previously directed Hanks on four separate occasions, in Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal and 2015's Bridge of Spies.

What's not quite clear is why the film is focused on the Washington Post rather than the New York Times, which led the way on reporting the story and was the first to face a federal court injunction by the Nixon administration. Streep, coming off an Oscar nom for Florence Foster Jenkins, would play Graham.

  • Carlos Nash