Idris Elba will star opposite Jessica Chastain in Aaron Sorkin’s directing debut Molly’s Game, the true story of a poker organiser whose illegal high-stakes games drew Hollywood glitterati such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Chastain has signed up to play Molly Bloom, dubbed the “poker princess”, a former skier who spent eight years running exclusive games for high-end clientele until she was arrested by the FBI in 2014. Elba will play Bloom’s lawyer, who learns that there’s much more to his client than tabloid newspaper reports have led the public to believe.
“The casting of Jessica and Idris in the two lead roles is any film-maker’s dream come true,” said Sorkin in a statement. “They’re two of the greatest actors of their generation, paired for the first time, and their chemistry will be electric.”
Bloom became embroiled in the world of high-stakes gambling after decamping to California when she failed to qualify as an Olympic skier – she was the No 3 ranked mogul competitor in north America at the age of 21. After waitressing in Los Angeles, she began to host poker matches at the famous Viper Room club, but got in trouble with the law after demanding a share of the pot rather than tips.
Bloom was sentenced to a year’s probation and a fine of $1,000 in June 2014. Her memoir Molly’s Game was optioned by Sorkin’s producing partner Mark Gordon the same year. In the book, Bloom is kind about Affleck, DiCaprio and Damon, but describes Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire as a moody player and poor tipper.