For those that were looking for a big blockbuster expose of the A-listers from Hollywood that frequented the biggest poker games around in the early Ought’s, you’re going to be disappointed. According to the screenwriter and director, he’s not going to “name names,” so to speak.
According to several outlets, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is hard at work adapting author Molly Bloom’s tome Molly’s Game for the big screen. Also slated to be his directorial debut, Sorkin has been adamant that he will not be using the names of the players that took part in Bloom’s offerings, which included Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. “A number of people in the game are bold face names, they’re people who you would know,” Sorkin commented to HNGN.com reporter Emily Morgan recently. “You can Google this and see the sort of tabloid version of the story, but there’s a much better story under the tabloid version of the story.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sorkin is seeing another story in Bloom’s book, not the dashing poker tale replete with movie stars, Hollywood executives, hedge fund managers, businessmen and the like. “I don’t want the movie to be about gossip,” Sorkin said to reporter Stephen Galloway. “I wouldn’t want it to [be], under any circumstances, but in this particular case, the reason why she is a movie hero, the reason why she’s worth writing about in the first place, is that by the end of the whole thing – even if it meant saving her life, guaranteeing her own freedom, she wouldn’t have to go to jail for four years, even if it meant the restoration of all the money the government took away from her- she would not name a single [person], she wouldn’t tell a story. She could have. She wrote a book for which she could have gotten a $2 million advance. She got a $35,000 advance instead.”
While Sorkin is saying that he will go to “great lengths” to obscure the identities of people who played in the game, Bloom was only descriptive about one in her book and it was perhaps because of the ludicrousness of the situation. We at Poker News Daily reviewed Bloom’s book in late 2014 and had this to say about that particular situation:
Coming off as the hugest douche of her group (according to Bloom’s writing) was actor Tobey Maguire. Bloom acquiesces to nearly all of his demands for playing in her game (knowledge of who was playing and usage of a shuffling machine that he provided for a fee, among others) and Maguire ended up screwing Bloom in the end. First, he attempts to force her to earn a meager tip of $1000 (with more than a quarter million of his money in the game) by making her sit on a table and bark for it. Then, he pushes her out of the game because he believes that she is making “too much” money through her tips. While Maguire has proven to be very impersonal during his trips to the World Series of Poker (to the point of being quite the jerk), these steps (if true) go way over the line.
Sorkin has apparently finished the screenplay, but an actual cast hasn’t been put together yet. Jessica Chastain has been rumored to be in the running to portray Bloom on the silver screen, but there is no other information as to other cast members. There also isn’t a studio behind the effort, although Sony Pictures has been an outlet for Sorkin’s previous works.
If, and, or when Molly’s Game comes to the big screen, people probably aren’t going to see very much that was a part of the book. Sorkin says he will be focused on Bloom’s early life (“She was this close to going to the Olympics”), including her schooling at Harvard University and how she came to California to try to decide what to do with her future. The 12 years that she spent running the biggest cash games in the world – ones that would frequently net her six-figure sums for organizing said games – might actually be a sidelight come the final cut of the screenplay.
According to Sorkin, he has come up with the close of the film and it is what Bloom used for the book: “We were talking about failure, and she says at the end of the movie that — she quotes Winston Churchill, who said, “Success is defined by being able to go from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”