Hanks, Streep to star in Pentagon Papers movie

Tom Hanks will play The Washington Post's executive editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep (above) will play Katharine Graham, the newspaper's publisher.
Tom Hanks will play The Washington Post's executive editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep (above) will play Katharine Graham, the newspaper's publisher.PHOTO: REUTERS
Tom Hanks (above) will play The Washington Post's executive editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep will play Katharine Graham, the newspaper's publisher.
Tom Hanks (above) will play The Washington Post's executive editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep will play Katharine Graham, the newspaper's publisher.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • With journalism and "the Hollywood elite" consistently drawing ire from the Trump White House, it is no surprise that they would eventually team up.

Oscar winners Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg are joining forces for a new drama about the fourth estate, called The Post, which chronicles The Washington Post's legal battle to publish the classified Pentagon Papers in 1971.

Spielberg, 70, will direct, Hanks, 60, will play the Post's larger- than-life executive editor Ben Bradlee and Streep, 67, will play Katharine Graham, the newspaper's publisher, according to Deadline website.

Details of the film have been kept under wraps since it was bought by former Sony Picture co-chair Amy Pascal's new production company in October.

Ms Sally Quinn, Bradlee's widow and a former Washington Post reporter, knew about the project (Spielberg has a house in the Hamptons across from her and her late husband's), but had previously been sworn to secrecy.

"I am thrilled," she said. "This is the dream team."

The last time she saw "her husband" on the big screen was in 1976, when actor Jason Robards played Bradlee in All The President's Men.

The actor had dinner with the couple and spent the day with Bradlee at the office.

"He got him cold," said Ms Quinn, 75. "It was just mind-blowing."

And she expects Hanks, who knew Bradlee personally, will do an equally praiseworthy job. "Tom is a brilliant actor. I don't have to give him advice. They know Ben and they know what he's like. All I can say is, I think the timing is perfect. It could not be more relevant today to what's going on," she said.

Ms Graham, the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, made the decision to publish the papers against her lawyers' advice, said her granddaughter and the former publisher of The Washington Post, Ms Katharine Weymouth.

She added: "It was arguably not a good business decision, it was about the mission in the face of a lot of contrary advice and I think that's why it's such a great story.

"I think my grandmother would be incredibly flattered that Meryl Streep was playing her. Who wouldn't be?"

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2017, with the headline 'Hanks, Streep to star in Pentagon Papers movie'. Print Edition | Subscribe