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Aaron Sorkin agreed to direct Molly’s Game once Jessica Chastain signed on

Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin refused to make his directorial debut with new gambling movie Molly’s Game unless Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba signed on to star.
The man behind the screenplays for The Social Network, A Few Good Men, and Moneyball admits he had no idea he was going to be directing the movie about real-life high-stakes poker planner Molly Bloom until producers started talking him into the project, which would become his first stab at taking charge of a film.
And he admits he had a few conditions before he agreed to adapt his own script for the screen.
“I didn’t know I was going to direct it until after I wrote it,” he said during a question and answer session at the Writers Guild of America in Los Angeles on Sunday (05Nov17). “The producers came to me and said, ‘We think you should direct it’.
“One of the things that I wanted to be sure of was that I could cast the movie – would Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba work with me. I said, ‘If not, somebody else needs to direct this movie because it’s more important that Jessica and Idris be in it than I’d be directing it’.
“I’m fine standing next to the director and saying, ‘Everything you’re doing is bad!’ I can say that and then go get a doughnut. But the fact is if you spend a lot of time standing next to (moviemakers) Mike Nichols and Danny Boyle and David Fincher, a lot of it is bound to rub off on you.”
And Sorkin discovered over the years that the trick to making a great film is to surround yourself with “very talented people” and “say yes to their good ideas”.
“I don’t want people who will just follow my instructions,” he adds. “I want people who have better ideas than mine from time to time and who will say so. That’s how you get the best movie you can get.”
And now the movie’s done, Aaron is keen to get behind the camera again: “I haven’t suddenly become a director, I want to keep on working with great directors, but I did have a great time doing this,” he smiles. “I want to direct again but I don’t want to know while I’m writing it!”

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