Idris Elba May Star in Molly's Game Adaptation2 years ago
It’s a case of move over James Bond and hello poker for Idris Elba as he has entered talks to star in the much-anticipated drama Molly’s Game, the Aaron Sorkin movie depicting the real-life adventures of Molly Bloom and her Hollywood A-list packed ‘home games’.
Elba, widely regarded as the finest black actor of his generation, is hotly-tipped to join Jessica Chastain, who will play the eponymous lead role in the screen adaptation of the best-selling book.
According to debut director 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.”
British-born Elba shot to prominence with his depiction of Nelson Mandela in A Long Walk to Freedom for which he received an Oscar nomination and his skills have been much in demand for many years now, with starring roles in Avengers: Age of Ultron and the voice of Shere Khan in Disney’s remake of The Jungle Book this year.
Molly’s Game is director Sorkin’s debut movie although he is famous for screenwriting The West Wing and latterly The Social Network, the blockbusting account of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The book, which depicted Molly Bloom’s rise from waitress to host of LA and New York’s exclusive high-stakes poker games, will likely make for an exciting and successful big screen movie. Jessica Chastain has proven herself to be an excellent actress across many different genres.
Successful outings in sci-fi movies Interstellar and The Martian as well as thrillers such as ZeroDarkThirty and even a Broadway stint in The Heiress have catapulted her into the Hollywood A-list, a perfect background for her upcoming role as Molly Bloom.
Bloom somehow managed to transform herself from a virtual nobody into one of the biggest fixers in the world of underground poker, arranging games involving the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Ben Affleck and a host of other massive names.
In addition, multi-millionaire gangsters and businessmen mixed with the stars in Bloom’s ‘anything goes’ games, eventually drawing the attention of the FBI. As the blurb for her book states on Amazon:
Molly staged her games in palatial suites with beautiful views and exquisite amenities. She flew privately, dined at exclusive restaurants, hobnobbed with the heads of Hollywood studios, was courted by handsome leading men, and was privy to the world’s most delicious gossip, until it all came crashing down around her.”
Quite which role Elba will portray in the movie version of the crazy story is not yet clear, but it is unlikely that he will be playing a ‘white’ character – one of the main stumbling blocks for fans of the 007 franchise which has seen Elba at the center of several ‘racial debates’ in the movie industry.
It feels like I’m campaigning and I’m not,” he told the Independent last year when asked about his Bond credentials. “At first it was harmless - oh, I know, wouldn’t it be great? - and now it’s started off racial debates,” he said. “I’m probably the most famous Bond actor in the world and I’ve not even played the role. Enough is enough. I can’t talk about it anymore.”
Author Anthony Horowitz described the former Wire actor as “too street” for the 007 role and former Bond Pierce Brosnan predicted that the character would stay ‘white and straight’.
Molly’s Game, on the other hand, should prove to be an ideal screen outing for Elba, the list of characters offering up a huge cross-section of the rich, the famous and the infamous, although it is unlikely that major players in the book such as the Hollywood A-listers and Russian gangsters will be portrayed as themselves!
Bloom herself escaped the worst of the FBI investigation and subsequent trials – a $1000 fine and probation for collecting rake on a poker game. According to fellow founder of the LA poker nights, Houston Curtis:
Molly Bloom was a smart, sweet, ambitious girl, who worked very hard to organize what had to be one of the biggest, most star-studded weekly poker games of all time. I don’t think anyone who played in the game on a regular basis would disagree with me in saying it changed our lives,” Curtis told the Observer. “For a few brief hours, once, sometimes twice a week, high up in a beautiful 5-star hotel suite, a series of regular (yet anything but regular) players left everything else in their lives at the door, and had an experience that very few people in the world ever get to have.”
Quite how Sorkin’s movie will depict one of the ‘regulars’ – Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire – remains to be seen.
Well-known poker journalist and writer Haley Hintze, in her Sunday Review of the Molly’s Game book, wrote:
Maguire, the one-time star of the original “Spider-Man” movies, emerges from this tale as an unlikeable, backstabbing opportunist who manipulated the game and its participants for his own personal gain.”
Anyone’s who’s ever had the displeasure of experience Maguire in person — as this writer has — can attest to the accuracy of Bloom’s character depiction: Maguire in real life is equal parts Hollyweird and pure, unadulterated pain-in-the-ass, and Bloom ultimately casts Maguire as the main reason why the lucrative LA games declined.”
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