The American Film Institute has chosen Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game, starring Jessica Chastain, as its closing night gala screening on Nov. 16, replacing the Kevin Spacey-starrer All the Money in the World.
“Aaron Sorkin is an American master, and we are proud to shine a proper spotlight on his directoral debut, Molly’s Game, on AFI Fest’s Closing Night,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI Fest Director. “As Sorkin embarks on this next chapter of his career, his talents are timely for a tribute as he brings his gift of crafting compelling narratives and complex characters to the story of female impresario Molly Bloom.”
TriStar Pictures and AFI pulled Ridley Scott’s J. Paul Getty drama in the wake of Spacey’s recent sexual misconduct allegations. Scott is digitally replacing Spacey with actor Christopher Plummber to get the film out by its original release date of Dec. 22.
Sorkin is being honored with a tribute at the TCL Chinese Theatre event, with a moderated discussion of his work followed by the Molly’s Game premiere screening. STXfilms and The Mark Gordon Company’s Molly’s Game, written and directed by Sorkin, stars Chastain and Idris Elba set in the world of high-stakes underground poker games.
The cast also includes Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd and Bill Camp. The film was produced by Mark Gordon, Matt Jackson and Amy Pascal. Entertainment One (eOne) and The Mark Gordon Company financed the feature.
TriStar pulled All the Money… last week, saying in a statement that “given the current allegations surrounding one of its actors and out of respect for those impacted, it would be inappropriate to celebrate at a gala at this difficult time. Accordingly, the film will be withdrawn.”
AFI Fest supported the decision, adding that the withdrawal ensures “the thousands of people who worked together on this film are honored at a proper time and in a proper light.”
The closing night slot is much-coveted, having launched The Big Short to multiple Oscar noms and an Adapted Screenplay win two years ago.