Skip to main content

Aaron Sorkin Is Broke?

When it comes to the creative minds kicking around in Hollywood, few produce product as instantly recognizable as Aaron Sorkin, whose brand of walk-and-talk dialogue has traveled with him from Sports Night and West Wing on the small screen to The Social Network on the big screen. And one would think that a 22-year stint in the industry would guarantee never having to worry about how much money is in the bank, but the information-hemorrhaging Sony leak has clued us in on Sorkin’s possible money problems. As well as more news than I never wanted to know about his alleged sex life.

Beyond the constantly-in-flux Steve Jobs biopic, Sorkin has two other features in the early stages at Sony: the Wall Street true-life drama Flash Boys and the similarly based-in-fact underground poker ring drama Molly’s Game. But while Sony head Amy Pascal is far more interested in seeing the former come to light, Sorkin is dedicated to getting the latter project going, which led to a series of back and forth emails between the two that didn’t really go anywhere.

According to The Daily Beast, an email from Pascal to Columbia Pictures’ three top execs (Doug Belgrad, Michael De Luca and Hanna Minghella) said that he was "broke" and wanted more money. The email allegedly claimed that he was paid an "insane fee" for his work on Flash Boys, and the implication that he was sleeping with Molly’s Game author Molly Bloom.

The “broke” part seems to be backed up by other alleged leaked emails between Sorkin and Pascal, in which mention is allegedly made of getting his daughter Roxy’s school tuition paid with the money from one of these projects. That seems to indicate him not having that money in-pocket. Which is kind of crazy, considering The Newsroom literally just ended its three-season run on HBO. Now, I have no idea how the financial world behind TV series goes, but it seems like he’d still be reaping rewards from that show at this point. (Instead of just facing tons of criticism over a recent rape storyline on the cable drama.) I'm pretty sure I'd still be spending Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip money.

Also included in the leak was a budget breakdown for the troublesome Jobs, which shows Sorkin got paid millions for writing the screenplay. He came out recently and said that he was completely finished with TV work, but considering his potentially problematic nature behind-the-scenes in Hollywood, he might just return to his boob tube home quicker than we think.

Updated: 12/15/2014

Of course, Sorkin isn't about to just let that kind of rumor mill build up strength. He recently wrote a response article for the New York Times where he refuted everything said in the emails referred to above. Here's how he put it, in a piece damning media outlets who have covered all aspects of the Sony leaks.

The widely published documents that were stolen include an email to Ms. Pascal in which I advocated going to Tom Cruise for the lead role (I did), a second email from one executive to another speculating that I’m broke (I’m fine) and a third that suggested that I might be romantically involved with a woman whose book I’m using as source material for a new script (I wish)."

Whom do you believe?

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.