Less than a week after announcing that Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World” will no longer serve as its closing-night film, AFI FEST has announced that Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut “Molly’s Game” will now close the festival. The film, which stars Jessica Chastain as the real-life proprietor of a high-stakes poker game, had already been announced as part of AFI FEST but will now get pride of place as the final film to screen during the weeklong event.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” and Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” had both been mentioned by festival-goers as potential replacements, which was probably wishful thinking; neither film is expected to screen until after Thanksgiving. “All the Money in the World” was pulled after several men accused star Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct, and the actor’s scenes are now being reshot with Christopher Plummer in his stead.
The screening of “Molly’s Game” — which also stars Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, Bill Camp — will be preceded by a tribute to Sorkin.
“Aaron Sorkin is an American master, and we are proud to shine a proper spotlight on his directorial debut, MOLLY’S GAME, on AFI FEST’s Closing Night,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Director, in a statement. “As Sorkin embarks on this next chapter of his career, his talents are timely for a tribute as he brings his gift of crafting compelling narratives and complex characters to the story of female impresario Molly Bloom.”