Fans of “The West Wing” rejoiced on Thursday when it was announced that cast members Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff and Bradley Whitford would be returning for an Oct. 15 special on HBO Max benefitting When We All Vote. On Friday, Janney, Schiff, Sheen, Whitford and creator Aaron Sorkin made an appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” via Zoom to talk about the special, and how “The West Wing” may be different if it aired today.
This included airing a remake of the show’s title sequence with the real-life presidential administration – many of which have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past week. Instead of smiling faces, the spoof shows the empty space that is currently left behind in the west wing. President Donald Trump is called “coronavirus-in-chief,” and the credit for creator goes to “willful stupidity.”
During Colbert’s interview with the cast, Sorkin disputed calling the upcoming special a “reunion,” although they have not been seen together in nearly 15 years. In contrast to the many Zoom reunions of the past six months, “The West Wing” cast will recreate season 3 episode 14, “Hartsfield’s Landing,” from Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theater, restaged as if it were a play.
“It’s not a reunion show. Reunion shows have this certain stigma attached to them, that you feel like it’s going to be a ‘Very Brady Christmas.’ Over the years I’ve resisted the opportunities to do a reunion show, but this opportunity came along to do something at a crucial time for When We All Vote,” Sorkin said. “So, while it is a group of people coming back together after having not been together for a while, it is not a reunion. It has a purpose.”
Sorkin also shared that he doesn’t believe Trump will be portrayed onscreen anytime soon.
“Writers are going to have a lot to write about from these past four or five years. But I think that you’ll very seldom see Donald Trump as an onstage or onscreen character,” Sorkin said. “He’ll be offstage, he’ll be in news footage, because he’s implausible.”
Watch the full interview below.