Tag Archives: Liz Hannah

Liz Hannah’s USA Today “Post”

Last March, “06880” reported that Liz Hannah’s screenplay about the Pentagon Papers was being made into a major motion picture.

Very major. Steven Spielberg directed “The Post.” Tom Hanks plays Ben Bradlee. Meryl Streep is Katherine Graham.

Hannah is not a boldface name like those three.

At least, not yet.

But good things are happening to the 2003 Staples High School graduate.

Liz Hannah (Photo/Martim Vian for USA Today)

“The Post” was named best film of 2017 by the National Board of Review, and in  the Top 10 by Time and the American Film Institute. It earned 6 Golden Globe nominations, including Best Screenplay. (It didn’t win. But Hannah was there, at a table with Hanks and Streep.)

The writer has gotten some pretty good ink herself.

USA Today headlined its story: “‘The Post’ Writer Liz Hannah Shows What’s Possible When Women Occupy Powerful Roles in Hollywood.”

In it, the Westport native talks about her female mentors, and the inspiration of Katherine Graham herself.

USA Today notes:

A few years into writing pilots that languished in development and feature spec scripts that didn’t sell, a burned-out Hannah made one last-ditch effort before planning to leave the grind of writing to focus on something like teaching. At the encouragement of her husband, Hannah decided it was time to write something about Graham, and focus it on her decision to publish the Pentagon Papers.

Like Graham, “I had been in those rooms where I’m the only woman, and men turn their back on me pretend I’m not there,” Hannah says. The writer’s journey to express her voice, and use “guts (to) ignore the fear and stand on our own two feet,” paralleled her protagonist’s.

Eventually, Hannah’s screenplay reached former Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal. She said:

I would’ve wanted to make this movie no matter who wrote it. But of course working with and supporting women has always been important to me, and I was thrilled to help get it made.

For months, the media has been talking about men — in Hollywood and Washington — taking advantage of women.

Now — with “The Post” — they can talk about the power of women to do great things on their own.

Including Westport’s own Liz Hannah.

(Click here for the full USA Today story. Hat tip: Jeff Kapec)

Liz Hannah Goes Hollywood

Add Liz Hannah to the long list of Staples High School graduates with a major movie connection.

Liz Hannah

The 2003 graduate — who served as an assistant director for Staples Players — wrote a screenplay about the Pentagon Papers. Remember those? In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg leaked the information that the Johnson administration had bombed Cambodia and Laos, among other actions not reported in the mainstream media.

As America’s press tries to keep the current president honest, that’s a timely topic.

Steven Spielberg will direct “The Post,” Hannah’s movie about the Washington Post‘s challenge to the federal government over the paper’s right to expose the Papers.

Here’s one reason we already know “The Post” will be a smash hit. The co-stars have just been announced: Post editor Ben Bradlee will be played by Tom Hanks.

And publisher Katherine Graham?

Meryl Streep.

(Hat tips: Mark Potts and Kerry Long)