Aaron Sorkin: What’s Next After ‘The Newsroom’?
HBO’s The Newsroom may soon be coming to an end, but writer Aaron Sorkin’s new slate of projecst is as jam-packed as ever. With the show’s final six-episode run set to end this month, the prolific screenwriter has made it clear he plans on shifting his focus to film — and it looks like he’s keeping his word. Sorkin currently has four different big screen projects in the works, all based on nonfiction books.
Sorkin has had huge success bringing real-life stories to screen in the past. His work on the 2010 drama The Social Network (based off Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal) received eight Oscar nominations and won three, including one for the Best Adapted Screenplay category. He also co-wrote the 2011 sports drama Moneyball (based off Michael Lewis’s 2003 book of the same name), which went on to garner six Academy Award nods.
Now, it looks like Sorkin’s returning to form after ending The Newsroom (and potentially his TV career). His most immediate and highly publicized project is the upcoming Jobs biopic, which Sorkin adapted from Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography. But the writer also recently added another memoir adaptation into this schedule with Molly’s Game, as well as returned some of his attention to long-developing films. Here’s a closer look at Sorkin’s upcoming projects.
Sorkin is currently working on Danny Boyle’s still-untitled Jobs biopic, based off Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography. The movie has experienced plenty of bumps in the road since Sony first optioned the rights for the film adaptation in 2011. Director David Fincher was initially on board to helm the film before leaving the project. Since Boyle’s taken over the project, two A-list stars — Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio — reportedly came close to striking a deal to take on the title role, but ended up declining the part. The most recent actor to be tied to the project is X-Men’s Michael Fassbender. Whoever does eventually take on the part will have his work cut out for him, as Sorkin has confirmed that Jobs appears on “about 100 [pages]” of his 181-page script.
As previously described by Sorkin himself, the film will reportedly be divided into three long scenes, all of which will take place in real time. Each scene apparently takes place before the highly publicized launches of three major products in Jobs’ career — the 1984 launch of the Macintosh computer, 1990’s NeXT, and the 2001 launch of the iPod. Jobs’s daughter Lisa will also reportedly have a part in the film. No specific details about her role have been revealed, but Sorkin recently called her the “heroine of the movie.”
Scott Rudin is also on board to produce, along with Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady.
According to Deadline, Sorkin will also soon adapt Molly Bloom’s high-stakes poker memoir, Molly’s Game, to screen. Bloom’s story certainly has enough to fill a feature film and then some. As her memoir details, the talented and brilliant woman became a world-class skier at a very early age. By the time she was 21, she ranked No. 3 in North America in mogul skiing while still maintaining a 3.9 GPA in college. Feeling burned after failing to make the Olympic team, she decides to take a year off before going to law school and instead ends up running an exclusive high-stakes Hollywood poker game, with players including the likes of Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Tobey Maguire. She rakes in millions over the course of nine years — until her run comes to a screeching halt when a group of FBI agents show up at her door.
The story seems ripe for Sorkin’s stylized, fast-paced dialogue. It will also be particularly interesting to see him take on a female lead, given the criticism he’s previously gotten for his on-screen depictions of women (which Sorkin has publicly refuted).
The project will reteam him with producer, Mark Gordon, who is currently working with the writer on the Jobs biopic.
Sorkin first acquired the screen rights to the one-time John Edwards aide Andrew Young’s tell-all book about the former presidential candidate in 2010. At the time, the writer announced that the project would also mark his feature directorial debut. In addition to directing, Sorkin will reportedly pen the script and produce the film.
“This is a first hand account of an extraordinary story filled with motivations, decisions and consequences that would have lit Shakespeare up,” he said in a statement. “There is much more to Andrew’s book than what has been reported and I am grateful that he’s trusting me with it.”
The project took a backburner to Sorkin’s work on The Newsroom and the Jobs biopic. Not much more progress in terms of casting or otherwise has been made since the initial announcement, but the screenwriter has confirmed that the film adaptation is still in the works.
In June, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Sorkin would be tackling the bestselling Michael Lewis book, Flash Boys, for Sony. The studio acquired the rights to the nonfiction book in April. The story delves into the practice of high-frequency trading on Wall Street, revolving around one specific group of men in the industry, including one-time Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov and founder of IEX, the Investor’s Exchange, Brad Katsuyama.
The project marks the second book by Lewis that Sorkin has adapted to the big screen. He also co-wrote the screenplay for 2011’s biographical sports drama Moneyball. The film will also reunite him with producer Scott Rudin, who previously collaborated with Sorkin on Moneyball, The Social Network, and The Newsroom and is currently working with him on the upcoming Jobs biopic.