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Columbia Pictures Drops ‘Moneyball’ On Eve Of Production

moneyballpittsoderbergh

Today, by my watch, production on Moneyball – the flick adapted from the fantastic book by Michael Lewis that chronicles the Oakland A’s baseball team and their general manager Billy Beane as he builds a team with monetary limitations – was supposed to begin. As of right now, by my watch, it is not.

So what would make Columbia cancel production on a Brad Pitt-starring, Steven Soderbergh-directed adaptation of a well-liked book? According to Variety, Chairman of Columbia Amy Pascal tossed the flick into limited turnaround on Friday after reading a fresh draft of the script that Soderbergh wrote himself. Apparently it was so different from the original Steven Zaillian versions that she scrapped the whole deal.

Personally, I would have just been glad to see Soderbergh writing (or working with) an actual script instead of just showing up on set with a way-too-expensive camera and expecting to force Pitt to make it up as he went along.

Soderbergh has been working over the weekend to try to get Warners and Paramount to take over the flick, but if no one bites by today, Columbia will have the chance to revisit several options which include:

  • Firing Soderbergh without pissing off Brad Pitt
  • Spending more time trying to get a script that Soderbergh and the studio can agree upon without pissing off Brad Pitt
  • Dropping the picture permanently without pissing off Brad Pitt (so he’ll star in whatever else they need him in)
  • All going out for ice cream

I know what my vote would be.

Part of me is really anxious to get my hands on the version of the script that made a studio toss out a project starring an all-singing, all-dancing guaranteed payday like Pitt. Soderbergh must have changed the sport to Women’s Table Tennis and written in Pitt as a plucky teenage boy who has to pretend to be a girl in order to be a ringer for the team and to win over the girl he likes.

What do you think? Do you think my pitch for Ladybugs II: Back in Action has a shot?

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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