While we reported yesterday that Amy Pascal had opted to kill Steven Soderbergh and Brad Pitt’s Moneyball at Sony/Columbia Pictures, Soderbergh was given the option to shop the script around town, in hopes of bringing his version of the book to life. Well, according to the LA Times, both of the studios where Soderbergh hoped to land the film, Warner Brothers and Paramount, have passed on the project as well. It seems as if nobody in town wants to play this brand of baseball.
Pascal supposedly didn’t like the script rewrite that Soderbergh submitted to her, killing the production at the 11th hour. The budget, at a reported $57 million, has apparently stymied its opportunities at the other studios. Baseball is not a subject/sport that plays well overseas, regardless of Pitt’s drawing power, and adult dramas like State of Play and The Soloist have already crapped out here this year. In this economic climate, it appears that nobody seems to think a baseball movie is capable of earning $100 million, which is what one executive has said it would need to make here, in order to earn its money back once all i s said and done. Apparently, Sony has already sunk $10mm into the film.
While I would like to find out what happens with the film, as it is one that I am interested in, I am certainly inclined to agree with the unnamed exec’s statement. If Moneyball needs to hit the century mark here, its probably not a gamble worth making. I also think it speaks to Pitt’s “supposed” box office clout. While he has for years been considered one of the industries biggest stars, his box office support has never earned him that right in my opinion. I like Pitt as an actor, I find him engaging enough, and he has made some great films, but couple his at times avant-garde choices, with an against the grain, abstract director, who makes The Girlfriend Experience (click for review) and Che in his time away from studio pics, it makes sense that Hollywood would be leery about this film. In the meantime, I can offer those studios a great little dramedy for $5mm with me in the lead if they really want to play ball. If you need to put me opposite Megan Fox, I guess I would allow it. Give a player a call, H-town!