Aaron Sorkin has been behind some of the biggest movies of the last few decades, but at no point has he been hailed as the “main man” of the production. As a screenwriter, Sorkin has given us everything from drama in A Few Good Men to a dramatized version of the founding of Facebook in The Social Network.
However, after spending decades as the man next to the man, Sorkin will finally make his directorial debut later in 2017 with Molly’s Game. With post-production on the story of poker hostess to the stars, the titular Molly Bloom, all but wrapped up, Sorkin has been out on various red carpets talking about his latest project.
Bloom Lifts the Lid on Hollywood
For those that don’t know, Bloom was a former Olympic skier who had to switch careers after an injury. Using some of her contacts in the celebrity world and her natural charm, she eventually found herself in charge of Hollywood’s richest home games. Only open to a select group of players, the poker games would see Bloom offer all the trappings of a high-end casino experience to the likes of Tobey Maguire and Ben Affleck.
Unsurprisingly, the appeal of high stakes poker and Hollywood’s biggest names was too much for publishers to pass up and Bloom was given the opportunity to write a “tell-all” book about it. After learning that Maguire was a bit of a sniper at the table with a sometimes frosty temperament, both readers and Sorkin were hooked. While we all know Maguire as the smiling actor from movies such as Spider-Man, we don’t necessarily get to see another side to him.
Poker Shines a Light on Reality
Fortunately, poker is a game that has a habit of showing us a person’s true colors. In poker terms, Bloom paints Maguire out to be a shark. According to poker pro and 888poker ambassador Bruno Kawauti, a shark is a player that enjoys setting traps and exploiting weaker players. According to Bloom’s book, Maguire was every bit the shark in a big pot against a mystery player.
With his opponent facing a decision, Maguire began to talk: “I swear on my mother’s life, I have you beat,” said Maguire. After forcing his opponent to fold, Maguire looked up and, like a calculated poker shark, showed a bluff. Aside from being a slick play by an obviously skilled poker player, this move gives us an insight into a side of Maguire we rarely see. For Sorkin, it’s this dynamic that could allow him to win an award as a director and not just a screenwriter.
Stealing Ideas Could Pay Dividends for Sorkin
However, a movie is only as good as its director, so how has Sorkin ensured his debut will be a hit? Simple: he stole from other directors. Okay, so that doesn’t mean he literally plagiarized ideas, but he has used his time alongside some of the industry’s finest filmmakers to learn his craft. Talking to Cinema Blend’s Eric Eisenberg about his movie, he said that he’s hoping some of his previous experiences have helped him with Molly’s Game.
“I stole from them outright. I’ve spent hundreds of hours standing next to some of the most talented directors of all time. And so hopefully some of it rubbed off on me,” Sorkin told Eisenberg at CinemaCon.
Even if the process of osmosis doesn’t help Sorkin on this occasion, he’s clearly got a stellar story to fall back on. Tales of Hollywood’s rich and famous battling it out at the poker table should be enough to pique the interests of audiences, but just in case it isn’t, there is an all-star cast on hand to help. Everyone from Idris Elba and Michael Cera to Jessica Chastain and Kevin Costner will be supporting Sorkin’s much-anticipated directorial debut.