Meryl Streep is playing Katharine Graham, Tom Hanks is playing Ben Bradlee, Steven Spielberg is directing. The film is called The Papers, about the Washington Post taking on the White House over the publication of the Pentagon Papers, which preceded Watergate, which then resulted in Richard Nixon’s resigning as President.
Yesterday all three were papped one set together, apparently for the first time ever and this is a Moment, of course, because, obviously.
Have you read Katharine Graham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Personal History? I read it a few years ago on the recommendation of my friend Gabrielle and I’ve been obsessed with Kay Graham ever since. She was the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company and the first woman to lead the board of the Associated Press. She presided over the Washington Post during what was then the biggest political scandal of the time. When Carl Bernstein contacted John Mitchell, Nixon’s Attorney General, for a comment about Watergate and what the Washington Post had found out, Mitchell said, “Katie Graham’s gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that’s ever published”. She was the boss. And she published. It’s an amazing story and, obviously this story in particular, given these times and what happens daily at the White House, seems more timely than ever. But Kay Graham had so many amazing stories. So, after this film, I’m hoping there can be another. A film that’s about Kay Graham herself.
They’re saying that The Papers will be released in December, in time for award season. And given Spielberg-Streep-Hanks combination, I mean of course everyone is expecting for it to contend. But that is an aggressive schedule. I mean, it’s not impossible. It’s four months in post, and there are probably not that many special effects. But still, the timeline is tight. And it’s not a timeline that happens if not for the reputation of all these players. The Papers will be in select theatres December 22 before going wide in January.