‘The West Wing’: Aaron Sorkin’s 385 Page ‘The American President’ Script Was Pieced Into a Pilot

Whatever Aaron Sorkin does from now on, he will usually be remembered The West Shield creator. Despite several famous series, plays and films, The West Shield still a cultural touchstone years after it went off the air. But, at first, the series was a spiritual follower of Sorkin President of America, a film whose last script led to the remarkable work of political fiction.

Aaron Sorkin is considered a triple threat

Sorkin he started as a playwright when he was trying to break through as an entertainment in New York City. However, having developed a passion for playwriting, Sorkin ‘s career has never been the same.

He began writing at Syracuse University, but in 1988 made a name for himself in the major leagues. His third play, Very few good people, would change his life forever.

Sorkin became a three-pronged threat, writing for television, film and stage – and that all earned him fame. But, though Very few good people Sorkin’s film adaptation received much success, awards and accolades, The West Shield it made him a household name in ways that not many playwrights and screenwriters could ever dream of. Sorkin’s natural, quick communication combined with the right balance of theater and established balance made him one of Hollywood’s most popular writers.

After The West Shield which ended in 2006, Sorkin tried to recreate his glory in the past Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which lasted only one season, and the Newsroom, which gave him fame, though he was not so strong. However, Sorkin found a resurgence after writing the compelling films The Social Network, Money Ball, and Steve Jobs.

Now, he’s started directing, stepping into that chair with his last two scripts for Molly’s game and The Chicago 7 Test. For many, however, The West Shield.

‘The West Wing’ has a strong legacy

The crew of 'The West Wing.'
L to R: Allison Janney as Claudia Jean ‘CJ’ Cregg, Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler, John Spencer as Leo McGarry, Martin Sheen as President Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet, Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn, Dule Hill as Charlie Young, Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman NBC / NBCU Photo Bank

One of the early adopters of a cinematic style on television, The West Shield is a different kind of political drama. While the show focused heavily on President Martin Sheen, Jed Bartlet, he was equally concerned about the people around him.

Thanks to star class, including Sheen, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Bradley Whitford, Dule Hill, and Stockard Channing, the show was a huge success. Those who were already stars got the second wind in their show and those who weren’t quickly got house names.

The show focused not only on the politics behind Bartlett’s leadership but also on the human drama beneath. To this day, the legacy of the show is as strong as ever.

For four of his seven years on air, Sorkin was the life behind the show. It was his ability to use human nature that made the project work that made those first four years special. However, the show could be seen as a happy crash that came from another Sorkin script.

As Aaron Sorkin wrote ‘The West Wing’

Martin Sheen in 'The West Wing.'
Martin Sheen as President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet on ‘The West Wing.’ | Scott Garfield Photo Bank / NBCU

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25 Information about The West Shield

LE MATTHEW JACKSON SEPTEMBER 23, 2019

James Sorensen / NBC / Journalists via Getty Images
JAMES SORENSEN / NBC / NEWSMAKERS VIA GETTY IMAGES

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Twenty years ago, one of the most victorious came, gained fame and built TV shows never broadcast the first release of their series on NBC. The idea of ​​a screenwriter who never wanted to write television in the first place, broadcast by a network that was not convinced that a show about politicians could work with viewers, The West Shield he rose above early doubts to become one of the most acclaimed shows of his generation, winning four consecutive Special Drama Series Emmys and turning his ensemble cast into big stars.

Even now, 20 years after his arrival, The West Shield it is hugely popular with fans, and has earned a place among the biggest television series ever. So to mark two decades of Bartlet White House, here are 25 facts about it The West Shield.

1. AARON SORKIN IS NOT MADE TV.

FREDERICK M. BROWN / GETTY ‘S DUTIES

The seed for The West Shield It was put when screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, out of the success of movies like Very few good people and President of America, was asked to take a meeting with TV producer John Wells, who was still riding high from success ER at NBC. Sorkin agreed to the meeting, although he had “never thought of doing television,” and the night before he met Wells he had a conversation with his friend, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, who commented. air Sorkin President of America and praised the idea of ​​a TV series about a senior White House employee. Sorkin was still at odds with the idea of ​​a TV show, but he couldn’t get the idea out of his head.

“The next day I walked into the restaurant and immediately saw that this was not what I thought it would be,” said Sorkin. Empire. “It wasn’t just a ‘hello’, how are you? met, as John sat with a couple of studio producers and officials from Warner Bros. Just after I sat down, he said, ‘So what do you want to do? And instead of saying, ‘I think there has been a misunderstanding, I have no idea for a television series,’ which would have been honest, I said ‘I want a television series about senior staff at the White House. ‘He said,’ All right, you got a contract. ‘”

2. IT WILL NOT BE THE HONORABLE AMERICAN LEFTOVERS.

It was reported that Sorkin was asked to meet with representative John Wells, of the ER application. He agreed to the meeting even though he had stated that he was not interested in television.

“The next day I walked into the restaurant and immediately saw that this was not what I thought it would be,” said Sorkin. Empire. “It wasn’t just a ‘hello’, how are you? met, as John sat with a couple of studio producers and officials from Warner Bros. Just after I sat down, he said, ‘So what do you want to do? And instead of saying, ‘I think there has been a misunderstanding, I have no idea for a television series,’ which would have been honest, I said ‘I want a television series about senior staff at the White House. ‘He said,’ All right, you got a contract. ‘”

As for the script, it had a head start. “If I’m writing a script, in fact 90 per cent of it would just be walking around, climbing the walls, just trying to come up with the idea. Then the last 10 percent would write it, ”Sorkin told Empire. “Luckily I was on the first long version of it President of America: about 385 pages, when you want 130 or 140. So those little ideas and one of them, about Cuban refugees, I was able to spin into a pilot. ”

Sorkin is renowned as one of the toughest writers in the industry. While he was writing The West Shield, he was also writing a show called Fun Night. To understand The West Shield, one needs to know how Sorkin works. He is a man of great ideas who sometimes cannot be. Sorkin explained his work with the LA Times.

“I was the kind of addict who was active – I was writing good stuff,” he says. “But I haven’t seen people or talked to people. I would fax my pages to Rob at 7am and after we talked about it, I would close the curtains and start writing again. ”

That’s why the original script was almost 400 pages long, which helps explain why. President of America, which is a pro-government film about a strong-willed president who wants to do what is right for the country, has so much in common The West Shield. Sorkin used those ideas that he needed to cut out of the original script and made them into a pilot, series, and television legacy.

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