After penning at least two of the best American films of this decade – The Social Network and Moneyball – and masterminding one of the best television series ever made with The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin is finally taking his skills behind the camera. THR reports that Sorkin is set to make his directorial debut with Molly’s Game, an adaptation of Molly Bloom‘s memoir about going from a top-tier skier to a gambling matron; he was already set to write the script before taking on directorial duties. The film reunites Sorkin with his Steve Jobs producer, Mark Gordon, while Amy Pascal is also set to produce.
For those not familiar with Bloom’s story, she was a renowned skier who, after failing to get into the Olympics, took a year off to work as a waitress, a gig which eventually turned her onto a job managing poker games for Hollywood’s biggest players. Considering the story’s base in the shifting landscape of the job market when you have undeniable skills and an ability to self-start and learn new abilities, one can see how the story may have a certain reflexivity for Sorkin, who has gone from playwright to TV writer-showrunner to Oscar-winning screenwriter to, finally, director; he also had a small role in The Social Network.
Sorkin has now worked with at least three major filmmakers, including David Fincher, Bennett Miller, and Danny Boyle, and though Boyle has become less and less interesting as a director since Sunshine, the possibility of Miller and Fincher’s influence on Sorkin as a crafter of images is very promising indeed. Ultimately, however, Sorkin will have to find his own style, and one hopes he doesn’t just rely on the beats of his own writing to guide how he edits and shoots Molly’s Game. There’s no word as of yet as to who will be playing Bloom, or who will be on Sorkin’s crew, but this is one of those make-or-break moments for the writer, a new challenge for a skilled artist who has settled into a set of stylistic and narrative tendencies.