Aaron Sorkin’s newsroom drama More As This Story Develops is closing in on its female cast – as Marisa Tomei has been pegged for the female lead and Olivia Munn as well as Alison Pill are negotiating for supporting roles.
More As This Story Develops is the working title for Sorkin’s latest project, now in the pilot stage at HBO. It follows cable news anchor Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels, State of Play) and his production team as they report and interpret the news on his show.
Marisa Tomei is being pursued for the female lead, in the role of the news show’s executive producer Mackenzie. While Tomei isn’t in active negotiations like the other two women mentioned, she’s considered the front-runner for the part. Oscar-winner Tomei’s recent projects include Darren Aronofsky drama The Wrestler in 2008 and The Lincoln Lawyer.
Olivia Munn is slated to play a young financial analyst with her own show on the same fictional cable network. She’s currently in negotiations to take the part – after turning down numerous other pilots this season. Munn gained notoriety as a talk show hostess on cable gaming channel G4, before scoring a recurring “correspondent” role on The Daily Show – and later a lead in NBC’s short-lived comedy Perfect Couples.
Alison Pill’s role is Maggie, a young associate producer on the news show. While only 25, Pill has shown a surprising range, playing in everything from Milk to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. More As This Story Develops would be Pill’s second HBO project – after an arc on In Treatment.
Sorkin has made a name for himself by staying on the bleeding edge of events and culture. The West Wing quickly became a running commentary on the Bush administration, and The Social Network tackled the country’s obsession with digital communication and the pitfalls therein. The often blurry line between news and entertainment, especially on cable, seems like a winning choice for the writer-producer.
It would be hard to go wrong with Marisa Tomei, especially considering Sorkin’s history with strong female characters. Mackenzie sounds a lot like a remixed version of CJ, Allison Janney’s tough-as-nails Press Secretary character on The West Wing. Pill has proven herself a capable actress, and should find it easy enough to adapt to Sorkin’s lightning pace and witty style.
Munn, I’m not so sure of. While she has recognition in the geek community for her positions on G4 and Comedy Central, Perfect Couples left something to be desired. But the blame for the lackluster comedy can’t be placed entirely on Munn’s shoulders, and her roles in Iron Man 2 and Date Night were too fleeting to form a critical opinion.
More As This Story Develops is in the pilot stage, and should begin shooting in the next few months.