Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut Molly's Game has been officially picked up by STX Entertainment and will be released on November 22nd, 2017. The release date should give the movie, which stars Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain, a chance to be a prime contender when awards seasons rolls around.
Molly's Game is based on a memoir by one-time Olympic skiing hopeful Molly Bloom, who in a strange twist-of-fate ended up running the world's biggest high-stakes poker game, catering to Hollywood stars, business titans and Russian mobsters. Bloom (Chastain) is arrested by the FBI and comes to be represented by a criminal defense attorney, played by Idris Elba, who finds out that the real Molly is not the one presented by the tabloids.
STX Entertainment picked up Molly's Game after Sony bailed out and now they have set a November 22nd release date for the film (via EW), guaranteeing it will receive a lot of awards buzz. The Mark Gordon company bought the rights to Bloom's book in 2014 and initially hired Sorkin only to write the screenplay, but it was later decided that Sorkin would take on directorial duties as well. Sorkin is one of the most decorated screenwriters in Hollywood, with two Oscar nominations to his name including a win for The Social Network, as well as four Emmy wins for his acclaimed drama The West Wing.
Jessica Chastain has been nominated twice for an Academy Award, once for Best Supporting Actress for her turn as a batty Southern Belle in The Help, and once for Best Actress for her performance as a relentless CIA analyst on the trail of Osama bin Laden in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty. Chastain is reportedly in talks to play a villain in the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and has also been cast in the lead in the movie adaptation of the comic Painkiller Jane. Idris Elba won a Golden Globe in 2012 for his work as a genius-level murder detective in the BBC drama Luther. He will also be seen later this year as the gunslinger Roland in the long-awaited film adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower.
Whether Molly's Game receives the award buzz many are expecting will depend largely on Aaron Sorkin's ability to make the jump from writing to directing. Crafting a brilliant screenplay is one thing, but guiding actors through the day-to-day grind of realizing a screenplay is another thing altogether, and there have been many very good writers who proved themselves less-adept when tasked with getting behind the camera.
Molly's Game also stars Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Brian d'Arcy James, Chris O'Dowd, Graham Greene and Jeremy Strong.
- Molly's Game (2017) release date: Dec 25, 2017