The Casting Of Netflix’s Trial of the Chicago 7 Is Spot On

·5-min read

In 1968, the Democratic National Convention was overshadowed by a massive civilian demonstration miles away from the International Amphitheater where it was being held. On the streets of Chicago, civilians engaged in passionate protests against President Lyndon B. Johnson's Vietnam War policies, and the police were sent to break up the gatherings. Tensions quickly escalated over the course of five days; the authorities resorted to violence, sweeping the streets using tear gas and batons, and protestors fought back by throwing rocks and bottles.

The Chicago police arrested a host of protestors and fellow officers, and eight of the demonstrators were taken into custody for criminal charges. Those eight men would go on to be tried in one of the most high profile court hearings in American history, coming to represent the spirit of activism and democracy for years to come.

In Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7, you'll get to learn more about that harrowing court case and the men who lived through it. The highly anticipated film brings together a unique group of A-listers to portray the iconic activists — read on to see the similarities.

<h2>Abbie Hoffman</h2><br>Activist Abbie Hoffman was notorious throughout the trial for his theatrics, making headlines for insulting Judge Julies Hoffman (no relation) often and with glee. He was found guilty of intent to incite a riot while crossing state lines and was sentenced to five years in prison and a $5,000 (£3,870) fine. Ultimately, his conviction was overturned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.<span class="copyright"> Photo: Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images.</span>

Abbie Hoffman


Activist Abbie Hoffman was notorious throughout the trial for his theatrics, making headlines for insulting Judge Julies Hoffman (no relation) often and with glee. He was found guilty of intent to incite a riot while crossing state lines and was sentenced to five years in prison and a $5,000 (£3,870) fine. Ultimately, his conviction was overturned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Photo: Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images.
<h2>As portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen</h2><br>You've seen Sacha Baron Cohen in many things (<em>Les Misérables</em>, <em>Madagascar</em>, and <em>Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street</em>), but you probably recognise him most immediately from his 2006 performance in <em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/10/10065248/borat-subsequent-moviefilm-sacha-baron-cohen-new-sequel-trailer" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Borat" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Borat</a></em>. In the irreverent mockumentary, the English actor starred as a Kazahk journalist documenting his experiences in the United States.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.</span>

As portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen


You've seen Sacha Baron Cohen in many things (Les Misérables, Madagascar, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), but you probably recognise him most immediately from his 2006 performance in Borat. In the irreverent mockumentary, the English actor starred as a Kazahk journalist documenting his experiences in the United States.Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
<h2>Tom Hayden</h2><br>After being arrested, convicted, and then cleared of all charges during the Chicago Sevem case, Tom Hayden went on to become a Democratic California senator — and marry actress and fellow activist Jane Fonda.<span class="copyright">Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images.</span>

Tom Hayden


After being arrested, convicted, and then cleared of all charges during the Chicago Sevem case, Tom Hayden went on to become a Democratic California senator — and marry actress and fellow activist Jane Fonda.Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images.
<h2>As portrayed by Eddie Redmayne</h2><br>Golden Globe-winning actor Eddie Redmayne has been active in Hollywood since 2006. Some of his work over the past 14 years includes notable roles in <em>Les Misérables</em>, <em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2014/10/75444/eddie-redmayne-the-theory-of-everything-trailer" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Theory of Everything" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Theory of Everything</a></em>, <em>The Danish Girl</em>, and <em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2016/10/128222/eddie-redmayne-wand-waving-fantastic-beasts" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them</a></em>.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.</span>

As portrayed by Eddie Redmayne


Golden Globe-winning actor Eddie Redmayne has been active in Hollywood since 2006. Some of his work over the past 14 years includes notable roles in Les Misérables, The Theory of Everything, The Danish Girl, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
<h2>Jerry Rubin</h2><br>Long before Jerry Rubin protested against the War in Vietnam, he was working on the ground demonstrating for a number of other worthy causes. The activist openly supported the Black Power movement as well as the legalization of marijuana, and he was one of the founding members of the Youth International Party (YIP) with Hoffman and Paul Krassner.<span class="copyright">Photo: Harold Adler/Underwood Archives/Getty Images.</span>

Jerry Rubin


Long before Jerry Rubin protested against the War in Vietnam, he was working on the ground demonstrating for a number of other worthy causes. The activist openly supported the Black Power movement as well as the legalization of marijuana, and he was one of the founding members of the Youth International Party (YIP) with Hoffman and Paul Krassner.Photo: Harold Adler/Underwood Archives/Getty Images.
<h2>As portrayed by Jeremy Strong</h2><br>Jeremy Strong has an extensive resume, but we'd be remiss to not mention his stellar acting in <em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/10/8549355/succession-season-2-finale-recap-kendall-sacrifice-kiss" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Succession" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Succession</a></em>. In the HBO dramedy about siblings vying for the top spot of their father's enterprise, Strong plays <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/09/8454789/succession-cast-kendall-roy-attraction" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kendall Roy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kendall Roy</a>, the family punching bag whose well-meaning efforts don't always have the results he'd hoped. At this year's Emmy Awards, the actor took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the the part.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.</span>

As portrayed by Jeremy Strong


Jeremy Strong has an extensive resume, but we'd be remiss to not mention his stellar acting in Succession. In the HBO dramedy about siblings vying for the top spot of their father's enterprise, Strong plays Kendall Roy, the family punching bag whose well-meaning efforts don't always have the results he'd hoped. At this year's Emmy Awards, the actor took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the the part.Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
<h2>Bobby Seale</h2><br>As the co-founder of the Black Panther Party alongside Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale played a key part in Black politics throughout the 60s and early 70s. The organisation was originally established for the betterment of the Black community in Oakland, addressing needs like food injustice and public health as well as self-defense against racism.<span class="copyright">Photo: Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS/Getty Images.</span>

Bobby Seale


As the co-founder of the Black Panther Party alongside Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale played a key part in Black politics throughout the 60s and early 70s. The organisation was originally established for the betterment of the Black community in Oakland, addressing needs like food injustice and public health as well as self-defense against racism.Photo: Ted Streshinsky/CORBIS/Getty Images.
<h2>As portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II</h2><br>Yahya Abdul-Mateen II made waves (and several points) with his role as a slick-talking disco prince in Netflix's <em>The Get Down</em>, but it was his <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/12/8988025/who-plays-doctor-manhattan-watchmen-hbo" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:lead role in the HBO limited series" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">lead role in the HBO limited series </a><em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/12/8988025/who-plays-doctor-manhattan-watchmen-hbo" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Watchmen" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Watchmen</a></em> that put really put him on the map and <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/09/10037618/yahya-abdul-mateen-ii-emmy-speech-black-women" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:earned him his very first Emmy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">earned him his very first Emmy</a>.<span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.</span>

As portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II


Yahya Abdul-Mateen II made waves (and several points) with his role as a slick-talking disco prince in Netflix's The Get Down, but it was his lead role in the HBO limited series Watchmen that put really put him on the map and earned him his very first Emmy.Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
<h2> John Froines<br></h2><br>John Froines was charged with interstate travel for purposes of inciting a riot and with making incendiary devices during the infamous trial, but the jury acquitted him of both charges. After he was free to go, Froines resumed working as a chemistry professor at Goddard College.<span class="copyright">Photo: Gerald R. Brimacombe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images.</span>

John Froines


John Froines was charged with interstate travel for purposes of inciting a riot and with making incendiary devices during the infamous trial, but the jury acquitted him of both charges. After he was free to go, Froines resumed working as a chemistry professor at Goddard College.Photo: Gerald R. Brimacombe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images.
<h2>As portrayed by Daniel Flaherty<br></h2><br>Flaherty famously starred in the American remake of popular British series <em>Skins</em>; in the reboot, he played Stanley Lucerne, a Baltimore teenager with a troubling family dynamic. <span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.</span>

As portrayed by Daniel Flaherty


Flaherty famously starred in the American remake of popular British series Skins; in the reboot, he played Stanley Lucerne, a Baltimore teenager with a troubling family dynamic. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
<h2>Rennie Davis</h2><br>Rennie Davis played a significant role in organising the convention week anti-war demonstrations that led to his arrest alongside the other activists. He and Hoffman were the only two defendants to testify at during the Chicago Seven trial.<br><br>Davis went on to become a meditation scholar and venture capitalist, combining his interest in spirituality with business to found the Foundation for a New Humanity. <span class="copyright"> Photo: Leni Sinclair/Getty Images.</span>

Rennie Davis


Rennie Davis played a significant role in organising the convention week anti-war demonstrations that led to his arrest alongside the other activists. He and Hoffman were the only two defendants to testify at during the Chicago Seven trial.

Davis went on to become a meditation scholar and venture capitalist, combining his interest in spirituality with business to found the Foundation for a New Humanity. Photo: Leni Sinclair/Getty Images.
<h2>As portrayed by Alex Sharp</h2><br>Alex Sharp made his professional debut in the 2014 play <em>The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time</em>, starring as a teenager on the autism spectrum who investigates the death of a local dog. The role earned Sharp a number of awards, including a Tony — making him the youngest winner of the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. <span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.</span>

As portrayed by Alex Sharp


Alex Sharp made his professional debut in the 2014 play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, starring as a teenager on the autism spectrum who investigates the death of a local dog. The role earned Sharp a number of awards, including a Tony — making him the youngest winner of the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
<h2>David Dellinger</h2><br>David Dellinger had been a radical pacifist and anti-war agitator since World War II, so his conscientious objection to and subsequent protest against American involvement in the Vietnam War came as no surprise to any who were familiar with his demonstrations. <span class="copyright">Photo: Manning/New York Times Co./Getty Images.</span>

David Dellinger


David Dellinger had been a radical pacifist and anti-war agitator since World War II, so his conscientious objection to and subsequent protest against American involvement in the Vietnam War came as no surprise to any who were familiar with his demonstrations. Photo: Manning/New York Times Co./Getty Images.
<h2>As portrayed by John Carroll Lynch</h2><br>John Carroll Lynch's extensive filmography includes a numerous roles in<a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/09/10057360/ryan-murphy-favorite-actors-ahs-ratched-shows" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the Ryan Murphy Cinematic Universe" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"> the Ryan Murphy Cinematic Universe</a>; the actor has appeared in three different iterations of <em>American Horror Story</em>, even starring in <em><a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/09/8449304/american-horror-story-1984-theories" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:American Horror Story: 1984" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">American Horror Story: 1984</a></em> as the main antagonist. <span class="copyright">Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.</span>

As portrayed by John Carroll Lynch


John Carroll Lynch's extensive filmography includes a numerous roles in the Ryan Murphy Cinematic Universe; the actor has appeared in three different iterations of American Horror Story, even starring in American Horror Story: 1984 as the main antagonist. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

The Trailer For "The Chicago 7" Is Unmissable

Where Is Our Flo Kennedy Biopic?

The Best Political Thrillers To Watch Right Now

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting