Idris Elba will star alongside Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game, written and to be directed by Aaron Sorkin in his helming debut. This is the adaptation of Molly Bloom’s memoir that Sorkin signed on to write when Steve Jobs producer Mark Gordon optioned the book in late 2014.
Sony Pictures, which had taken hold of this when Deadline reported first that Sorkin had come aboard to direct, is no longer involved, so the project budgeted at just under $30 million is still seeking a U.S. distributor. All of this makes it a super hot title at the upcoming Cannes market, where WME Global and CAA will co-rep domestic rights and Sierra/Affinity will handle international territories outside of the U.S.; Entertainment One will distribute the pic in Canada, the UK, Australia/New Zealand, Benelux and Spain.
eOne and The Mark Gordon Company are financing, and Gordon is producing with Pascal Pictures’ Amy Pascal. Leopoldo Gout is exec producer.
Chastain has already been in talks to play Bloom, a beautiful, young Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally is her criminal defense lawyer (Elba), who learns that there’s much more to Molly than the tabloids lead us to believe.
“Working with Aaron once again has been truly rewarding, and we’re thrilled to have Jessica and Idris, two of the most talented actors in film today, coming on board,” said Gordon. “With the addition of Sierra/Affinity through our partnership with eOne, we have a best in class team in place to bring Molly Bloom’s riveting story to audiences.”
Added Sorkin: “The casting of Jessica and Idris in the two lead roles is any filmmaker’s dream come true. They’re two of the greatest actors of their generation, paired for the first time, and their chemistry will be electric.”
Elba most recently booked Guerrilla, a six-part limited series from American Crime creator John Ridley that has been greenlighted by Showtime and Sky Atlantic. On the big screen he’s next up in Star Trek Beyond and The Dark Tower. He’s repped by WME, The Artists Partnership and attorney James Finney.
Chastain, who most recently starred in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, is repped by CAA, Mosaic and attorneys Steve Warren and Barry Littman.