summer of sorkin

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STX To Open Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Molly’s Game’ In November; Melissa McCarthy Puppet Comedy ‘Happytime Murders’ Next Summer
Aaron Sorkin’s feature adaptation of Molly Bloom’s memoir Molly’s Game will open the Wednesday before Thanksgiving on Nov. 22, STX Entertainment recently announced. In addition, t…
By Anthony D'Alessandro

Aaron Sorkin’s feature adaptation of Molly Bloom’s memoir Molly’s Game will open the Wednesday before Thanksgiving on Nov. 22, STX Entertainment recently announced. In addition, the studio has dated the Brian Henson-directed comedy The Happytime Murders for Aug. 17, 2018.

In regards to other wide entries on Nov. 22, there’s Disney/Pixar’s Coco and MGM’s Death Wish from director Eli Roth which Annapurna is releasing. Warner Bros./DC’s Justice League opens the weekend prior along with Lionsgate’s Wonder. There are a slew of limited releases over the Thanksgiving stretch including Focus Features’ Darkest Hour, Weinstein Co.’s Mary Magdalene and Sony Pictures Classics’ Call Me By Your Name.

During its August weekend next year, Happytime Murders will square off against an untitled WB comedy and Focus Features’ Captive State starring John Goodman and Vera Farmiga.

Molly’s Game tells the story of Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain), once an Olympic-class skier who following an injury, 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. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe. STX acquired Sorkin’s feature directorial debut for an estimated $9M. The pic finished shooting during the early spring with the studio showing off some great footage at CinemaCon. Pic also stars Kevin Costner, Idris Elba, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd and Bill Camp. Entertainment One (eOne) and The Mark Gordon Company financed the feature, and Mark Gordon is producing with Amy Pascal via her Pascal Pictures banner. 

So I know my recent ~thang has been tweeting about The West Wing more frequently than anyone actually cares about, and really I’ve only just hit episode ten – In Excelsis Deo. In case you were wondering, it’s one of the most moving and beautiful Christmas episodes of any television series I’ve ever seen. Like, there’s a reason that when I googled the episode title, “west wing” was the first search suggestion, not “that one really old and famous Christmas hymn.”

To be brief (so that I might continue plowing through these episodes), In Excelsis Deo was overflowing with the warmth of humanity characteristic of The West Wing. I know I’m kind of a trigger crier, but I have honestly been on the verge of tears more often than not while watching this show. And this very first Christmas episode hit me in all the right places, even more so than any episode before it. Oh, there were highs and lows and laughs from every character – all to be expected of a Sorkin show. But especially beneath the shine of Christmas lights, Leo and Toby and Josh and CJ and Donna and Sam and, of course, President Bartlett himself positively glowed.

Guys, there’s a reason this was the episode that won The West Wing its Emmy. Truly an inspiration to watch, and that last shot (pictured above) positively broke me (in a beautiful, wonderful, heartwarming way). I’ll have to add it to my annual Christmas episodes list.