Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Update: Sony Pictures Finally Reads Moneyball Script...Project Stopped

"Brad Pitt in a baseball movie based on a bestselling book and directed by Steven Soderbergh." That was probably the extent of the pitch needed to get the suits at Sony Pictures to greenlight the $50 million project Moneyball. Any why not? It's a good pitch.

But remember about a month ago when I wrote here that my mind was completely blown that they were actually making a movie about baseball...statistical analysis? I was on to something. It seems nobody at Sony bothered to dig beyond "Pitt, Soderbergh, and baseball," until today...just hours before principal photography was to start. Now, according to Variety, Sony has shockingly placed the project into "limited turnaround," effectively making Soderbergh a free agent capable of shopping it to a different studio if he wants to see this project saved.

Given the talent involved, given the unusual narrative structure which Sony seems to have balked at, given the subject matter, and given what now seems to be a production backstory worthy of its own movie, I pray Soderbergh doesn't strike out in his attempts to find a studio to pinch-hit for Sony.

Update: The Los Angeles Times now reports that Paramount and Warner Bros. have both passed on it, meaning this project is deader than a Bobby Witt fastball unless Soderbergh agrees to dramatic changes in the script. One sticking point, evidently, is Soderbergh's desire to film it in an improvisational documentary style. Lenny Dykstra, Darryl Strawberry and Brad Pitt doing improv. This movie may never get made, but you can bet your life there will be a tell-all book about this one day.


Blogger Jamal said...

But Bobby Witt had a hell of a 12-6 curve ball. At least for one season if memory serves. So maybe there is hope yet?

June 23, 2009 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Kraig Smith said...

My fingers are crossed, but it seems likely that it would be a bastardized version of Soderbergh's vision if it does get made. But we shall see. It's just shocking to see a movie get shuttered this close to production. Very unusual. That last draft of the script must have been a doozy!

June 23, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

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