Over the course of his sterling career, Steven Spielberg has become known as a purveyor of blockbuster properties but he’s also gained a reputation for his savvy casting choices. That includes giving important early lead roles to the likes of Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple) and Christian Bale (Empire of the Sun) and recognizing rising stars like Vince Vaughn (The Lost World: Jurassic Park) and Vin Diesel (Saving Private Ryan) by casting them in key supporting roles.
More than a dozen actors have earned Academy Award nominations for their performances in Steven Spielberg’s movies, including Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) and Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies). Given Spielberg’s reputation and the announcement in March that Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep are headlining his latest project, it’s no surprise that the supporting cast is now filling up with high-quality actors.
Formerly known as The Post and now titled The Papers, it’s based on the real-life leak of the infamous “Pentagon Papers,” a top-secret document with a vast amount of details about the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Hanks will play Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and Streep will portray publisher Kay Graham.
Now comes word that the project has been fast-tracked and is already in production! Variety reports that Sarah Paulson (above left; Ocean’s 8), Bob Odenkirk (above center; TV’s Better Call Saul), Matthew Rhys (above right; TV’s The Americans), Bradley Whitford (Get Out), Carrie Coon (TV’s The Leftovers, Fargo), Jesse Plemons (TV’s Fargo), David Cross (TV’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Alison Brie (TV’s GLOW), Bruce Greenwood (Gold), Tracy Letts (The Lovers), Michael Stuhlbarg (TV’s Fargo) and Zach Woods (TV’s Silicon Valley) have joined the cast.
We don’t know what roles the supporting actors will be playing, but obviously an abundance of talent will be on display. A number of those actors have recently completed work on television shows, which means they are available right now for a limited time to accept roles; it would seem natural that working with Spielberg would be a very attractive proposition, especially with the timeliness of the subject material.
The Papers will open in limited release on December 22 and expand nationwide on January 12, 2018. That places it ahead of Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which is now in postproduction and currently aiming for release on March 30, 2018.