Director Steven Spielberg's historical drama takes viewers inside The Washington Post's decision to publish the Pentagon Papers.
The first trailer for Steven Spielberg's star-studded drama "The Post" made a splash online Wednesday, becoming a top trend on both YouTube and Twitter.
The preview, which 20th Century Fox debuted on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" Tuesday night, offers a riveting peek into the story behind one of The Washington Post's biggest scoops: The Pentagon Papers.
Meryl Streep takes the lead as America's first female newspaper publisher, Katharine Graham, who made the difficult decision to support the Post's then-editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) publish the top-secret government lies about the escalation of the Vietnam War, which led to a showdown between the press and President Nixon's administration.
"We could all go to prison," Hanks' character says in the trailer. "What will happen if we don't publish? We will lose. The country will lose."
The film marks the first time Hollywood heavyweights Streep, Hanks and Spielberg have all collaborated on a project together. Spielberg and Hanks previously teamed up for "Bridge of Spies" and most memorably, "Saving Private Ryan." Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods co-star in the drama hitting some theaters on Dec. 22 -- just in time to be considered for the 2018 Oscars -- before wide release on Jan. 12.
And although the events depicted in the movie took place over 40 years ago, the story is still particularly timely, as President Donald Trump has waged a verbal war against the free press, popularizing the term "fake news" to describe any news story that paints his administration or policies in a negative light. The public's trust in news media is also at an all-time low, with many Americans flocking to mainstream media alternatives, like InfoWars and Breitbart, often choosing to read and watch whatever outlet is most sympathetic to their political or ideological views.
As the country continues to grapple with the Justice Department's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, it will be interesting to see how Americans, politicians and the media react to the film, which dramatizes the struggles journalists face when trying to break hard news.