Academy Award winner Kevin Costner is in talks to join the cast of Molly’s Game, which will be the directorial debut of Academy Winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. If the deal is made, Costner will play a supporting role alongside leads Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, and co-star Michael Cera, adding to what is surely one of the most impressive cast-lists of films currently on the horizon.
Molly’s Game – for which Aaron Sorkin has also written the screenplay – is based upon the memoir of Molly Bloom. This young woman was an Olympic-level skier who became a legend in the world of underground poker games, by running one of the world’s most exclusive high stakes poker games for ten years. She was ultimately arrested by 17 armed FBI agents during the night, as she was unaware of the fact that her game had attracted players that included the Russian mafia.
Molly Bloom will be played by Jessica Chastain and, if he commits to the project, Kevin Costner would play the role of her father. Idris Elba is set to play the criminal lawyer that seeks to defend Molly, and reveal the person behind the headlines. It is not entirely clear what the nature of Michael Cera’s character will be, but producer Mark Gordon explained to the press that the focus of the film will be the people that are present in Molly’s life, as much as in her game.
“[It’s] a very human story. It’s a character piece, it’s the people in her life, it’s her transformation of going from a young woman who was just about to go to law school, who got sucked up into this wonderful, horrible opportunity of running this card game in Los Angeles.”
Molly’s Game is scheduled to begin shooting in November, so we may be looking at a late 2017 release date. While it will be interesting to see what Aaron Sorkin does with this material as writer-director, it is definitely the cast that is the biggest draw here. The character played by Idris Elba, in particular, will be something of a departure from the work we have seen him deliver most recently, and – with Sorkin’s writing behind him – will hopefully give him the chance to deliver a real, heavy-weight, dramatic role to the big screen, in a high profile movie.