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Watch Orlando Jones as Bobby Seale in New Trailer for 'Chicago 8' (+ New Poster and Stills)

by Jasmin Tiggett
August 22, 2012 10:53 AM
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Chicago 8 Poster

Based on actual court transcripts from 1968, The Chicago 8 tells the story of the eight anti-war protesters charged with conspiring to cause riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

The film will be released on nationwide On-Demand September 4th, 2012.

Orlando Jones co-stars in the film as Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, and one of the original accused "Chicago 8." Gary Cole, Philip Baker Hall, Danny Masterson, Mayim Bialik, Thomas Ian Nicholas, and Steven Culp also star.

Historically the trial has also been referred to as the "Chicago Seven," since Seale's trial was eventually severed from the others. Apparently after Seale was denied a postponement of his trial and denied the right to represent himself, he hurled such verbal insults at the judge that he was bound and gagged in court, and eventually sentenced to four years in prison for contempt. The other seven accused were eventually acquitted.

If the below trailer is any indication, you can expect some of these details to be covered in the movie. This trailer focuses specifically on the story of Bobby Seale.

Below that, you'll find the official poster and new stills from the film.

Chicago 8 full poster
'The Chicago 8'
'The Chicago 8'
Orlando Jones as Bobby Seale
Orlando Jones as Bobby Seale
Mayim Bialik as Nancy Kurshan
Mayim Bialik as Nancy Kurshan
Orlando Jones as Bobby Seale
Orlando Jones as Bobby Seale

For more on The Chicago 8, visit the film's website HERE.

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  • Nadine | August 23, 2012 10:03 AMReply

    "Our complexity and humanity is rich and deep. Yet, we seem to expend more energy here pointing out how White people are marginalizing us then actually talking about that complexity and that humanity." - Charles How do we get past this disconnect because it seems as if you want this aspect of one's humanity removed from the dialogue whereas other communities would not be required to do so given they do not have to defend the existence of their communities throughout their day-to-day lives therefore it is not as annoying to hear about it from their lips. What is the compromise?

  • Charles Judson | August 23, 2012 12:38 PM

    I'll use Jasmin's own post as an example. And I'm NOT trying to tear down Jasmin, but even her post misses an opportunity to dig deeper. The connections between 1968 and 2012 is even on the website, so even if it doesn't come to you as a tangent it's there to discover: “With recent demonstrations on Wall Street and in the Middle East, The Chicago 8 is timely with its message of being non-apathetic and fearless when it comes to standing up for your rights,” says The Chicago 8 director Pinchas Perry. “This movie becomes even more relevant during this 2012 election year as many voices are being heard throughout the country, no doubt creating a change in the political landscape.” I'm not trying to personally deride Scrim, Karla or Jasmin. However, in terms of where we want to go, we have to start pushing ourselves as creators to always dig deeper. I'd venture to guess that 80 to 90% of posters and readers here were born after 1968 or would have been too young to have experienced this chapter in history. How many of us know tons about the Chicago 7? I know enough to have some grounding and know some basic facts, but I'll admit that my own knowledge is very limited. Yet, it takes all of five minutes to look at the film's website, or on Wikipedia, to tease out reasons you might be interested in this movie beyond Orlando Jones inclusion, or realize that Bobby Seale as a major focus is actively relevant in our present reality and not just historically important. Even in relation to a recent film like NIGHT CATCHES US and films like THE BUTLER. The observations Scrim and Karla made DO have a utility. They ARE needed. However, when those observations continue to drive, dictate and dominate so much of the discourse that we shoot first and ask questions later, it's not empowering. If WE are not willing in a public forum like this to take the extra time to slow down and ask those questions, to do a little more research, and to expand the conversation to explore who we are and what we and by extension our films are about, and to share that with each other, why should we expect anyone else to do the same? Why are we holding others to a higher standard than ourselves? Who we are is expansive, diverse and forever evolving. Bobby Seale was more than an image on a poster or a collection of edits. AND WE are more than an image on a poster or a collection of edits.

  • Nadine | August 23, 2012 10:04 AM

    How did this post up here?

  • Darkan | August 22, 2012 2:20 PMReply

    It looks like an over the top, over dramatic and badly acted play. Why is everybody yelling so much!!! Did Samuel Jackson direct it? Smh.

  • NinaG | September 2, 2012 5:19 PM

    LOL seriously!

  • starry118 | August 22, 2012 6:01 PM

    I agree...and it's full of comedic this supposed to be a light-hearted look at what happened? That doesn't seem appropriate for the subject matter.

  • Darkan | August 22, 2012 2:17 PMReply


  • david da | August 22, 2012 11:52 AMReply

    wasn't this attached to speilsburg (sp) at one time? what a fall I hope it does well though, this is something that should have been waaaaaay bigger though.

  • Scrim | August 22, 2012 11:46 AMReply

    The obsession with putting token Black talent on the end of a promotional shot, where they'll hopefully go unnoticed, is so fucking played out. Yet the related character is important enough to get a trailer revolving around him. We need our voices represented in marketing departments too.

  • Charles Judson | August 23, 2012 8:07 AM

    I'm troubled by Scrim or Karla's reactions and don't agree. Is this poster meant to exclude Jones by his placement? Is the execution part of an exclusionary marketing plan that companies follow to marginalize people? THE POSTER DOESN'T MATTER. What matters is that the Chicago 8 became the Chicago 7 over time and this film seems to course correct and add Seale's voice back into the mix. What should be of interest to us is HOW Seale is included in the film. We're in the middle of a Presidential election season. A film that thematically covers a lot of the issues we're still debating and wrestling with is to be released, and instead of concerning ourselves with the content we're worried about the poster???? We HAVE to get savvier about how we analyze media and stories and stop talking about our inclusion or exclusion with the same rigor that Fanboys use GI Joe and Transformer action figures in Toyfare magazine to figure out who is and isn't in the movie and what the plot of Transformers 4 and a half is. This is the type of one room, self-contained story that doesn't require a huge budget or production values that if someone wants to see told they can tell it and could have told it long ago. Instead of wondering about Seale as a character and Seale's ideas we're going to worry about how he's lit? Our complexity and humanity is rich and deep. Yet, we seem to expend more energy here pointing out how White people are marginalizing us then actually talking about that complexity and that humanity. What angers me, yes anger is the word I want to use, is that when this movie comes out, I highly doubt they'll be many discussions about it or its ideas. Again, a good thing to have in an election year and in a time when rulings like Citizen's United and movements like the Tea Party and Occupy are so much a part of the conversation. But, these comments about a poster will live on. Power to the people.

  • Nadine | August 22, 2012 8:39 PM

    @Charles... I don't understand. Did you agree with SCRIM though? Does the poster with Scrim's comment not make sense because I think @Karla was basically repackaging Scrim's comments in a more intuitive form. I'm familiar with the CHICAGO 7 SERIES as I'm sure you are as well, but I had to remedy this poster in my own head. Given that Seale was the only one out of the eight imprisoned at the time of the famous Chicago 7 Avedon shoot (thereby making the Avedon Series the Chicago 7 as opposed to the Chicago 8/10), I am still, as well as a great number of other people, going to have issues with underlighting and placement people of color in promotional photographs in any situation. I am too familiar with design to not recognize how many permutations of this poster could have been put into action without Seale's presence being, literally, overshadowed. This is by no means an exact replica of Avedon's bright B/Ws (simply inspired by) and the concerns of people of color are not always hysterical hullabaloo. Also, just because Seale was one of eight, did not mean he was inconsequential or was of consequence in relationship to his percentage of the group. Seale pretty much monopolized the beginning of the trial and set the tone before the court separated him from the others. Given that this trailer focuses much on Seale and the title of this piece is the Chicago Eight, I have to wonder if this major event early on in the trial is in fact, one of the najor foci of this film. "The original eight protester/defendants, indicted by the grand jury on March 20, 1969, were Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale. The defense attorneys were William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass of the Center for Constitutional Rights. The judge was Julius Hoffman. The prosecutors were Richard Schultz and Tom Foran. The trial began on September 24, 1969, and on October 9 the United States National Guard was called in for crowd control as demonstrations grew outside the courtroom.

    Early in the course of the trial, Black Panther Party activist Bobby Seale hurled bitter attacks at Judge Hoffman in court, calling him a "fascist dog," a "honky," a "pig," and a "racist," among other things. Seale had wanted the trial postponed so that his own attorney, Charles Garry, could represent him (as Garry was about to undergo gallbladder surgery); the judge denied the postponement, and refused to allow Seale to represent himself, leading to Seale's verbal onslaught. When Seale refused to be silenced, the judge ordered Seale bound and gagged in the courtroom, citing a precedent from the case of Illinois v. Allen.[9] (This was alluded to in Graham Nash's song, "Chicago", which opened with: "So your brother's bound and gagged, and they've chained him to a chair"). Ultimately, Judge Hoffman severed Seale from the case, sentencing him to four years in prison for contempt of court, one of the longest sentences ever handed down for that offense in the US up to that time.[10]

    The Chicago Eight then became the Chicago Seven, where the defendants, particularly Hippies Hoffman and Rubin, mocked courtroom decorum as the widely publicized trial itself became a focal point for a growing legion of protesters. One day, defendants Hoffman and Rubin appeared in court dressed in judicial robes. When the judge ordered them to remove the robes, they complied, to reveal that they were wearing Chicago police uniforms underneath. Hoffman blew kisses at the jury. Judge Hoffman became the favorite courtroom target of the defendants, who frequently would insult the judge to his face.[11] Abbie Hoffman (no relation) told Judge Hoffman 'you are a 'shande fur de Goyim' [disgrace in front of the gentiles]. You would have served Hitler better.' He later added that "your idea of justice is the only obscenity in the room."[11] Both Davis and Rubin told the Judge "this court is bullshit." - wiki The 7 were acquitted. YES, the poster is a just a little reminder to those in the African Diaspora that they need to not only be in front of the camera, but behind the scenes; mastering post-production is big. Yes, every milisecond of every frame has been calculated and those decisions are being made without your input... dangerous business, that is. I wouldn't discourage pointing those things out, if one can find inspiration in it.

  • Charles Judson | August 22, 2012 2:55 PM

    ????? It's based on a true story. @Karla The original 8 were all white excluding Bobby Seale. @Scrim the poster is based on a famous photograph of the Chicago 7 by Richard Avedon, which didn't even include Seale: Bringing it back to the Chicago 8 is a big deal. They could have just as easily cut Seale out completely and gone back to just the Chicago 7. That he's so prominently in the trailer goes against how the story has generally been told over the last few decades.

  • karla | August 22, 2012 12:17 PM

    its getting on my nerves when I see one lone black actor in a sea of white ones... but I'm glad Orlando Jones is in it... he's a pretty good actor... And I'll go and see it...

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