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Poker Movie 'Molly's Game' To Replace Kevin Spacey Film At Festival

American Film Institute To Screen Film On Closing Night

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The highly-anticipated film “Molly’s Game” is set to hit theaters nationwide early next year, but before then it will be honored at a Los Angeles festival from the American Film Institute.

According to Deadline, the film, which marks Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, will be filing a spot previously belonging to the Kevin Spacey film “All the Money in the World.” Spacey has been engulfed in scandal and the AFI decided to yank the project. The production company for that film is also trying to scrub Spacey from all its scenes, replacing him with another actor.

Molly’s Game will be viewed at the festival’s closing night gala on Nov. 16. According to Deadline, the closing night slot is “much-coveted” by filmmakers.

“Aaron Sorkin is an American master, and we are proud to shine a proper spotlight on his directoral debut, Molly’s Game, on AFI Fest’s Closing Night,” Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI Fest Director, said 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.”

Molly’s Game made its premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in early September, and it received positive initial reviews. Sorkin said the project isn’t about gambling.

“[I]f you’re a poker player, you’ll enjoy the poker scenes — but it’s not a poker movie,” Sorkin said to Entertainment Weekly. “No, we never care who wins or loses a game. The movie is about her and what happened to her. And particularly two relationships in her life: the relationship she has with her criminal lawyer, played by Idris Elba, and her relationship with her father, Kevin Costner.”