Idris Elba is joining Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game, the directorial debut of Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
The Mark Gordon Co. is producing with Amy Pascal and her Pascal Pictures banner. EOne and The Mark Gordon Co. are financing the project, which Sierra Affinity, the global sales company, will launch at next week’s Cannes Film Market.
Chastain is starring as the film’s title character, Molly Bloom, a skier who, after her Olympic dreams were dashed, headed to Los Angeles and became a cocktail waitress. But she rose through the social circuit to became an organizer of underground poker games for the Hollywood elite, with players including Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. Her poker games came to an end when she was arrested by the FBI.
Elba will play Bloom’s criminal-defense lawyer, who, according to the producers, “learns that there’s much more to Molly than the tabloids lead us to believe.”
“The casting of Jessica and Idris in the two lead roles is any filmmaker’s dream come true,” said Sorkin in a statement. “They’re two of the greatest actors of their generation, paired for the first time, and their chemistry will be electric.”
EOne will distribute the film directly in Canada, the U.K., Australia/New Zealand, Benelux and Spain. WME Global and CAA will co-represent the U.S. distribution rights.
Leopoldo Gout is executive producing.
Elba recently voiced characters in the Disney hits The Jungle Book and Zootopia and currently is filming Sony’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower.