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Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game is now set to be the closing film at this year’s AFI Fest, replacing Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World in the wake of allegations against its original star, Kevin Spacey.
After actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of sexual misconduct, spurring more than a dozen others to come forward with claims against the former House of Cards star and executive producer, Sony’s TriStar pulled All the Money in the World from AFI Fest amid the controversy. The movie’s release date of Dec. 22 has remained the same, but Scott will be replacing Spacey with Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty, a bold decision that has many asking how the helmer can pull off the feat by next month.
“All the Money in the World is a superb film and more than worthy of its place of honor in the AFI Fest. But 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 Accordingly, the film will be withdrawn,” TriStar said Sunday in a statement.
The American Film Institute also on Sunday made the announcement that writer/director Sorkin will be honored with a tribute at the upcoming festival. “Aaron Sorkin is an American master, and we are proud to shine a proper spotlight on his directorial debut,” said AFI Fest director Jacqueline Lyanga. “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.”
Molly’s Game, which marks Sorkin’s directorial debut, will screen Thursday at the TCL Chinese Theatre and will be followed by a moderated discussion of Sorkin’s work.
Written and directed by Sorkin, Molly’s Game stars Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba and is set in the glamorous world of high-stakes underground poker games. Based on a true story, the film follows Bloom (Chastain), the Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob, and her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer. Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd and Bill Camp are also among the cast.
Molly’s Game was produced by Mark Gordon, Matt Jackson and Amy Pascal, and is being distributed in the U.S. by STXfilms.
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