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Robert Redford already has a handful of hot young actors on board for his next directorial effort, The Company You Keep, namely Autobots-ally Shia LaBeouf and Brit Marling, the Sundance breakout star from Another Earth and The Sound of My Voice. Now its time for Redford, a veteran actor himself of course, to bring in a few more established names to round out the cast. Deadline writes that Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie and Susan Sarandon have all signed on to the drama, which also counts Nick Nolte and Redford himself amongst the cast.
Redford hasn't acted in one of his own films since 2007's big flop Lions for Lambs, but the role in this one sounds pretty promising and juicy. He'll play a former member of the Weather Underground who has been in hiding for 30 years, only to be exposed by an ambitious young reporter (LaBeouf, of course) and forced to go not he run. Given the similar ages, it should come as no surprise that Jenkins, Sarandon and Christie will also play former radicals-- or at least Jenkins's character is "a link to former radicals in hiding." The photos of Sarandon and Christie above are taken from their younger days around the time the Weather Underground was active--they all would have been some foxy radicals.
The Weather Underground, a group very active in the late 1960s and throughout the 70s, represented something like the darker side of hippie culture, using violent action and inflammatory rhetoric to protest the Vietnam War and various other social issues, including racism and sexism. They bombed a series of government buildings throughout the 1970s, and in 1981 several remaining members teamed up with the Black Liberation Army to rob a Brinks truck, effectively marking the end of the movement. You may have heard about the Weather Underground in reference to Bill Ayers, a co-founder of the group who eventually got involved in legitimate political life in Chicago and was used as a bogeyman during the 2008 Presidential election thanks to his connection to Barack Obama.
It sounds like Redford's character will be a far more fringe figure than Ayers, but Jenkins's character might have found some inspiration there. Either way, seeing so many high-profile, talented actors come on board makes The Company You Keep an even more intriguing project. For now we'll just ignore the fact that the last time Redford assembled a large cast of stars for a politically tinged drama, it was the completely moribund The Conspirator.