Never having previously collaborated with director Steven Spielberg in a director/actor capacity, Meryl Streep was flabbergasted to learn that Spielberg never rehearses with his actors. Co-star Tom Hanks was well aware of this idiosyncrasy but decided, in gleeful anticipation of a 'diva' reaction, not to tell Streep. Despite her initial shock, Meryl and Steven got along extremely well during the shoot with Spielberg being so impressed with her character transformation, he had difficulty restraining himself from constantly complimenting her every take on set.
Tom Hanks has a connection with both of the film's main characters' real-life individuals. Hanks actually personally knew Ben Bradlee (who Hanks portrays in the film), and he met Kay Graham (who Meryl Streep portrays in the film) the day before she died.
The original title for the screenplay was called The Post (2017) but was scrapped once the project was put into pre-production as it was retitled 'The Papers'. The project would have its title changed again in the post-production stage back to its original title, The Post (2017).
This is the first onscreen acting film collaboration and star teaming of actor Tom Hanks and actress Meryl Streep. The pair have both previously been credited for two pictures the two have both worked on but not in a top billing acting context. Streep did voice work for The Ant Bully (2006) and starred in Mamma Mia! (2008) which Hanks respectively was a producer and executive producer on.
The film is co-screenwriter Josh Singer's third film exploring the importance of journalism in uncovering political scandal following The Fifth Estate (2013) which surrounds Julian Assange's Wikileaks organization and Spotlight (2015) which follows the Boston Globe's investigation into Catholic child sex abuse allegations.
In his memoir, the real Daniel Ellsberg claimed that walking out of RAND with the Pentagon Papers (and returning them) over the course of months was a calculated risk, since he had never had his bag checked by security, but he did not know for sure if it was not policy to do so.
It marks as the very first time Spielberg's regular editor Michael Kahn edits his film along with another editor, in this case Sarah Broshar, who has credits as associated editor in the previous Spielberg films. This is also the second Spielberg film to be edited by two people; the first film was Spielberg's theatrical debut, The Sugarland Express (1974), which was edited by Edward M. Abroms and Verna Fields.
In the scene showing Vietnam War protesters, the words spoken by one of them are taken from Mario Savio's "Put your bodies upon the gears" speech during the 1964 Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley.
This film features four actors who previously appeared in the FX anthology series Fargo (2014) Bob Odenkirk appeared in Season 1, Jesse Plemons appeared in Season 2, and Carrie Coon and Michael Stuhlbarg appear in Season 3.
In The Money Pit (1986), Tom Hanks plays entertainment attorney Walter Fielding, one of whose clients is a band called 'Cheap Girls'. Their leader, played by Leslie West tells Walter that they want to change the band's name to 'Meryl Streep'.
It is raining in nearly all of the brief scenes of the Vietnam War. In Forrest Gump the title character played by Tom Hanks who also stars in this film serves in the war and mentions on two occasions how much it rained there.