Rumors over the last week have David Fincher circling the Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs biopic based on the Walter Isaacson book about the Apple genius at Sony. Fincher hasn’t even had a meeting on the project yet, but he certainly has a close relationship with producer Scott Rudin from The Social Network. Will it happen? Who knows? At this point he read the script and they will have a conversation, and this is as far as this has gone — no negotiations at this point. But there is a rush right now to publish tips from tracking boards that make it difficult to not be compelled to run every single rumor.
Sidney Poitier was approached about taking the role of POTUS on NBC’s hit serial The West Wing, series creator Aaron Sorkin reminds us in Monday’s premiere of The Big Interview on AXS TV. (Check out a clip of the interview below.) “I don’t think I’ve said this to anyone before, because I have not wanted Martin Sheen to think he was anything but our first choice at the beginning,” Sorkin tells Dan Rather, who conducts all the interviews for the limited entertainment-industry interview series debuting Monday. Entertainment Weekly reported this casting news ages ago, adding that the show did not want to pay Poitier’s asking price. But, anyway, Sorkin says that’s not the point. “And, here’s the point that I’m trying to make,” he explains – “I never say, ‘We have too much of this and we need a little less of that and we’ve got to get the color mixture right. I absolutely, when it comes to casting, want to put the best athletes on the field.” After delivering his version of the old “colorblind-casting” trope, Sorkin switches almost immediately in the interview to talking about his HBO series The Newsroom, which is tops on the list of Shows The Reporters Who Cover Television Love To Hate-Watch, for reasons not entirely clear. It may be that they simply dislike Sorkin, a lot.
Well, a new trailer for the upcoming second season of HBO’s The Newsroom certainly got a reaction on Fox News Channel. The cable news network’s The Five lambasted the Aaron Sorkin show today as a “liberal fantasy.” While admitting that he liked The Social Network pic that Sorkin wrote, co-host Greg Gutfeld went after Newsroom for how he saw its depiction of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movement. “So Hollywood gets everything wrong again. If Newsroom covered Roman Polanski’s crimes, they’d change the 13-year-old girl to 13-year-old Scotch,” said Gutfeld about the Sorkin series and Tinseltown. Last season, Newsroom called the Tea Party the “American Taliban.” Sorkin has said that Season 2 of the fictional cable news show will address that issue further as well as deal with the 2012 Presidential election. Check out the clip from The Five today here:
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
(SPOILER ALERT! This report outlines news events that are covered in Season 2 of HBO’s The Newsroom.) Creator-showrunner Aaron Sorkin took the wraps off a chunk of the forthcoming second season of his controversial HBO journalism drama tonight as a gift to voting members of the TV Academy, hoping that a little sneak peek will help win them over just as Emmy balloting gets underway. During an event at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Sorkin described that clip of The Newsroom as the first 15 minutes of the new campaign. “When I was wondering which clip to show, our costume designer said, ‘Well, you know nothing ever really happens in the first 15 minutes of everything you write’,” Sorkin quipped. That convinced him that he wouldn’t be leaking too many spoilers in what the packed house saw. However, it did reveal one or two.
SPOILER ALERT! The new season kicks off with a present-day deposition involving the lawyer portrayed by Marcia Gay Harden in a guest turn and features Jane Fonda returning as the CEO of the show’s fictional network parent company. It then flashes back to Aug. 23, 2011, and the beginning of Mohammar Gadhafi’s fall in Libya. If possible, the pacing is even faster rat-a-tat-tat and adrenalin-infused than it was in its inaugural season. Sample dialogue: Lawyer: “Fourteen months after you went on the air, you called the Tea Party ‘The American Taliban.’ What happened?” Anchor: “The Taliban resented it.”
Related: TV TEASER: HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’
HBO confirmed today that the second season of The Newsroom will debut on July 14. The Aaron Sorkin created TV journalism series first premiered on HBO on June 24, 2012. HBO announced a second season pickup for The Newsroom on July 2, 2012. The show stars Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn, and Sam Waterston. Terry Crews and Jane Fonda also had regular recurring roles in Season 1. The Newsroom drew in 2.3 million viewers for its August 26 Season 1 finale. That was a season high for The Newsroom. Sorkin executive produces the show along with Scott Rudin and Alan Poul.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Creator and exec producer Aaron Sorkin gave a rough layout of how the forthcoming second season of his polarizing HBO cable news drama The Newsroom will play out in terms of covering real-life stories. He told an SRO crowd at PaleyFest 2013 in Beverly Hills tonight that Season 2 will pick up a week after where Season 1 ends and ticked off the topics he’s tackling on the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN): “The Tea Party/American Taliban, the General Election including the primaries and conventions, Trayvon Martin, the Affordable Care Act, and drones.” He said he’s still unsure whether the Newtown school shootings will be included when the show returns with fresh episodes in June. “That’s a tough thing to write about without minimizing or exploiting it or spreading Cheez Whiz around it. It’s a profoundly important moment, and the last thing you want to do is handle it poorly.” Sorkin explained the show “would simply stop our narrative before” it took place. Sorkin also maintained tonight that he doesn’t want Season 2 to polarize viewers or critics as much. “I hope some of the critics who weren’t happy with the first season will take a look at the second and maybe reassess their opinion,” he said. “But no one has ever won a fight with a television critic, and I doubt that I’ll be the first one.” Executive producer Alan Poul added that part of …
EXCLUSIVE: Constance Zimmer, who was a major presence on Entourage for most of its run, will recur on another HBO series, Aaron Sorkin’s drama The Newsroom. On the upcoming Season 2, which reflects on the recent presidential campaign, Zimmer will play Taylor, a press spokesperson for the Mitt Romney campaign. Zimmer, repped by UTA and Sweeney Entertainment, is no stranger to politics — she currently has a major recurring role on David Fincher’s Netflix drama House Of Cards with Kevin Spacey as a Washington Post editor. She also is recurring on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy this season as Dr. Alana Cahill, a fixer who shakes things up at Seattle Grace.
EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Sorkin has dropped out of the Broadway production of Houdini, on which he was to make his librettist debut for a musical slated to star Hugh Jackman as the famous magician. Sorkin has put a lot of work into the musical, but had to drop out because of scheduling. He had to go back and write the second season of his HBO series creation The Newsroom, which will be broadcast in the summer. He’s also hard at work adapting the Walter Isaacson book Steve Jobs for a feature film for Sony Pictures on the Apple genius.
That left him pressed to have enough time to finish the musical in time for the producer’s plan to open on Broadway during the 2013-2014 season. Sorkin’s reps are in conversations with the Houdini producers for them to continue developing the musical utilizing Sorkin’s initial concepts and other materials. Stephen Schwartz is writing the music and Scott Sanders and David Rockwell are producing.
Aaron Sorkin has provided a glimpse of his plans for the Steve Jobs biopic he’s adapting for the big screen based on Walter Isaacson’s biography of the legendary Apple co-founder. He told Tina Brown today during the Newsweek/Daily Beast Hero Summit in Washington, D.C. that the movie will be three scenes only, all set before three major product launches. Here’s video of the interview:
UPDATE: Obama Praises Anne Hathaway As “Best Thing” In ‘Dark Knight Rises’; Harvey Weinstein Praises Obama As “The Paul Newman Of Presidents” At Campaign Fundraiser
3RD UPDATE, 5:54 PM: President Barack Obama at a Hollywood-studded fundraiser tonight reviewed The Dark Knight Rises and Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman performance. “She’s spectacular. I got a chance to see Batman, and she was the best thing in it. That’s just my personal opinion.” Obama said. After an intro by Weinstein calling Obama “The Paul Newman of American presidents”, POTUS also praised The Newsroom’s Aaron Sorkin. The fundraiser was hosted by Hathaway, Sorkin, Paul Newman’s widow Joanne Woodward, and Weinstein at the producer’s Connecticut home. Tickets went for $35,800 each. The 60 guests included Vogue editor Anna Wintour and TV talk show host Jerry Springer. Here’s the condensed of the White House Pool Report which includes a description of Harv’s country estate:
The motorcade departed Stamford at 7:13 p.m. and, after a short trip north on I-95, arrived at 7:33 p.m. at the Westport home of movie producer Harvey Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman. Along the way in Westport there were clusters of supporters along the road, waving, some holding signs such as “Westport loves Obama.”
Upon arriving at the estate, your pool was led up a long driveway, past the valet parking sign, past the broad lawn dotted with weeping willows and a badminton court, to the home. It’s a two-story, graceful, white home with black shutters, looking like a large, updated classic New England farmhouse (reportedly 8,900 square feet). Poolers eventually were led into a room
Diane Haithman and Ray Richmond contribute to Deadline TV coverage.
2ND UPDATE: Deadline never picked up these media rumors. Today Aaron Sorkin characterized them as “unsourced and untrue” that he had fired nearly all of the writers on The Newsroom. Sorkin brought up the matter during HBO‘s presentation before anybody asked. Sorkin also said there is no truth to the second part of the rumor: That one of the writers, Corinne Kingsbury, is the only writer who was spared because she is Sorkin’s ex-girlfriend. The Daily repeated the rumors first, followed by The Hollywood Reporter. (No wonder The Daily is firing nearly 30% of its staff…) The stuff “got repeated all over the place,” Sorkin said.
“The writing staff was not fired, OK? Just seeing that in print is scaring the hell out of the writing staff. They are acting very strangely, they are coming to work very early … I want the old gang back. It is a fantastic group of men and women to come to work with.” Sorkin did cop to a couple of staffing changes he said were made at the end of the season but said that they were mostly promotions of two writers assistants to staff writers. (While he did not address that, there are reportedly 2 writers from Season 1 of Newsroom who are not coming back.) Sorkin also stressed that Kingsbury is not neither an ex- or current girlfriend: “She is on the staff for the same reason everyone else is on the staff.” He added: “I think she is at the beginning of a very exciting career and I would hate for this rumor impact her career or follow her around for the rest of her life,” Sorkin said of Kingsbury, adding jokingly: “That’s Kingsbury with a ‘g’.”
He added that he had no girlfriends, either previous or current, on the writing staff.
HBO at first canceled Sorkin’s TCA appearance. But Sorkin stressed afterward in the huddle that he would have none of that running and hiding from his critics. “I said, ‘No, reinstate it’,” Sorkin confirmed afterward.
“I wanted to talk to the press.”
Aaron Sorkin provided a glimpse into his thinking behind The Newsroom in a recent interview with NPR. Reaction to the show, starring Jeff Daniels as anchorman Will McAvoy, has been polarized, earning criticism of its portrayal of journalism and complaints of sermonizing, as well as praise, but Sorkin tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, it’s fantasy. ”I like writing about heroes that don’t wear capes and disguises”, he said. ”I think that the critics and the audience who are reacting as hostilely to the show as they are, part of the reason is because they think that I’m showing off an intellect and an erudition that I don’t have”, Sorkin said. He said he spent two days on the set of Countdown With Keith Olbermann to get the feel of a newsroom before he started writing. ”I realized I could set the show in the recent past,” he says. “My big worry was making up the news — writing fictional news — because it was just going to take us too far away from reality. … But [setting the show in the recent past] became the gift that kept on giving. Because you have the fun of the audience knowing more than the characters”.
(Photo: Getty Images)
HBO has ordered a second season of its Aaron Sorkin drama The Newsroom and a sixth season of its vampire drama True Blood. The renewal of Newsroom comes just over a week after the debut of the series starring Jeff Daniels — the June 24 premiere drew 2.1 million viewers at 10 PM. That result actually put Newsroom ahead of the 1.4 million viewers True Blood drew for its 2008 series premiere. Still, Newsroom‘s debut number was less than half what True Blood earned at 9 PM on June 24, when it drew 4.7 million viewers across two airings. The sixth-season renewal of Alan Ball’s Southern vampire series comes less than a month after the kickoff of Season 5.
Hollywood has never concerned itself with self-plagiarizing. Ergo this video, which calls itself a “tribute to the work of Aaron Sorkin: the recycled dialogue, recurring phrases, and familiar plot lines. This is not intended as a critique but rather a playful excursion through Sorkin’s wonderful world of words…” (And I have swampland in Arizona to sell you.) Let’s see how long it takes before Sorkin’s new HBO series The Newsroom starts relying on Sorkinisms.
Aaron Sorkin said today that he had a lot of hesitation about tackling a movie about Steve Jobs. “It is a little like writing about The Beatles,” Sorkin said at the AllThingsD conference this morning. Sorkin said he “saw a minefield of disappointment” from Jobs aficionados in taking on the script for the recently announced film based on Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography. While the Oscar winner says it’s difficult “to shake the cradle to grave” approach of a book like Isaacson’s when adapting it for the screen, Sorkin says his approach is “going to identify the point of friction that appeals to me.” Sorkin, who received blowback for liberties he took with the actual life of Mark Zuckerberg in 2010’s The Social Network, told the conference crowd that they should think of biopics as “a painting, not a photograph.”
CULVER CITY, Calif., May 15, 2012 – Academy Award® winning screenwriter Aaron
Sorkin will adapt Steve Jobs, a motion picture based on the best-selling
biography of the legendary Apple co-founder by award-winning journalist Walter
Isaacson, it was announced today by Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures
Entertainment, and Doug Belgrad, President of Columbia Pictures. The project is
being produced by Mark Gordon, Scott Rudin and Guymon Casady.
Published late last year, Steve Jobs was Amazon’s best-selling book of 2011. In
addition, the biography ranked #1 among bestselling hardcover books by a 2:1
margin, with sales of 2,246,569 in 2011, according to Publisher’s
Commenting on the announcement, Pascal said, “Steve Jobs’ story is unique: he
was one of the most revolutionary and influential men not just of our time but
of all time. There is no writer working in Hollywood today who is more capable
of capturing such an extraordinary life for the screen than Aaron Sorkin; in his
hands, we’re confident that the film will be everything that Jobs himself was:
captivating, entertaining, and polarizing.”
AARON SORKIN won the Academy Award® for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work
on The Social Network. His other screenplays includeMoneyball, Charlie Wilson’s
War, The American President, Malice, and A Few Good Men. He has also acquired
the motion picture rights to The Politician, the best-selling book by Andrew
Young about the downfall of former Senator John Edwards. He will adapt the book
and make his directorial debut with the film, which he will
HBO has released another trailer for Aaron Sorkin’s new series The Newsroom. Multigenerational cast includes Jane Fonda, Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Emily Mortimer, Dev Patel, Chris Chalk, Adina Porter and many others. Debuts June 24:
HBO has received first trailers for Aaron Sorkin’s new drama series The Newsroom and for the upcoming fifth season of Alan Ball’s True Blood. The Newsroom stars Jeff Daniels as the anchor of a primetime program on a cable news network whom the trailer portrays as outspoken, controversial and volatile. Great timing on the heels of the public firing by Current TV of Keith Olbermann who reportedly was one of the anchors Sorkin shadowed in his research for the show. The trailer also gives a glimpse at Newsroom‘s supporting cast, Emily Mortimer, Alison Pill, John Gallagher Jr, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel and Thomas Sadoski, as well as Sam Waterston as the network’s president and Jane Fonda in the guest-starring role of the CEO of the network’s parent company. As for True Blood, this is a first look at what will be the last season of the vampire drama shepherded by its creator Ball who is stepping down as showrunner.
Hugh Jackman Conjures Up Broadway Return In Aaron Sorkin-Penned Musical ‘Houdini’ For 2013-14 Season
BREAKING: Hugh Jackman has sealed his return to Broadway for the 2013-2014 season in Houdini, which marks the librettist debut of Aaron Sorkin, with music by Stephen Schwartz. Jack O’Brien has been set to direct the production, which will be presented by producer Scott Sanders and David Rockwell, the latter of whom will design the sets. The musical has been long in the works — at one time Danny Elfman was working on the music — and the creatives say they’ve now got a version that will bring an original and contemporary feel to the life and death of America’s first superstar.
Jackman, whose Broadway turns include the musical The Boy From Oz and a run of the Keith Huff play A Steady Rain with Daniel Craig, most recently finished a sold-out run of Hugh Jackman: Back On Broadway. Jackman’s about to start the movie musical Les Miserables, directed by The King’s Speech helmer Tom Hooper for for holiday 2012 release by Universal Pictures.
Said Jackman: “I have been deeply fascinated by the life of Harry Houdini since I was young, and in many ways I’ve been preparing for this role my whole life. I am thrilled to be collaborating with this collection of artists who are all at the top of their game.”