What's news: Matt Lauer has been fired from NBC News after an internal complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior." Plus: Inside post-Lasseter Disney-Pixar, the first Avengers: Infinity War trailer, the future of Time Inc.'s big titles and a sit-down with Aaron Sorkin. — Ray Rahman
On the cover: Aaron Sorkin goes off script. Hollywood's most celebrated and scrutinized screenwriter ups the ante for his directorial debut as he floats a West Wing reboot (with a black president) and reveals the anxiety that fuels his ambition: "I always feel like my life depends on writing something good." Lacey Rose writes:
At this point, the industry's highest-paid screenwriter, who earns $4 million a script (and another $1 million if the film gets made), could make a fine living by simply rehashing his past successes. He already has agreed to tackle a live staging of his first breakout, A Few Good Men, for NBC, though now he reveals he'll need to push back its planned spring 2018 airdate another year. Filling out a cast led by Alec Baldwin (as Col. Jessep) has proven a challenge, and he can't quite figure out how to make the 1980s-set play feel fresh.
There's also a standing offer from the same network to reboot The West Wing, which Sorkin considers on occasion. When asked if he'd introduce a Trump-like figure in his fictional White House, he winces, arguing that the current president holds no appeal for him, fictional or otherwise. "Trump is exactly what he looks like: a really dumb guy with an observable psychiatric disorder," he says.
Sorkin's preferred scenario, he tells me, would involve "Sterling K. Brown as the president, and there's some kind of jam, an emergency, a very delicate situation involving the threat of war or something, and [President] Bartlett [played by Martin Sheen], long since retired, is consulted in the way that Bill Clinton used to consult with Nixon." Full story.