Category: moneyball

Bennett Miller in talks to direct ‘Moneyball’

Bennett Miller is in negotiations to direct Columbia’s “Moneyball,” the on-again, off-again baseball drama starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s who rewrote the unwritten rulebook of baseball.

The move comes after Columbia, the actor and the producers — Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin and Rachael Horovitz — met with directors in recent weeks to get the movie back on track after pulling the plug on a Steven Soderbergh-directed iteration in June. The movie began its rehabilitation with when Aaron Sorkin was brought on to write a draft, drawing on Steve Zaillian’s earlier take.

The project is based upon the best-selling book by Michael Lewis. Stan Chervin wrote the first draft of the script.

Columbia’s Matt Tolmach and Jonathan Kadin are overseeing.

CAA-repped Miller is best known for directing “Capote,” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. The movie earned Hoffman an Oscar and also netted a nomination for best picture.

Source/discuss.

Moneyball: Bennett Miller in, Brad Pitt out?

Moneyball was almost dead after the arguments between Steven Soderbergh and the producers. Now with the introduction of Bennett Miller it seems to be taking off. The film was said to star Brad Pitt in the lead but it closed down production couple of days into it.

Now there is another script doing the works after Aaron Sorkin did his penmanship to it. It is has been getting a lot of good buzz with Sony wanting Academy nominated filmmaker Bennett Miller to take up the reigns from Steven Soderbergh.

Another thing that has been cropping up is the fact that the new script is a comedy. There is surely not going to be the presence of Brad Pitt in this one. He might join Steven Soderbergh on another major league baseball film.

There is also news that Marc Webb might also be in contention to do this project. I guess it is a case of too much speculation which might work against its favor.

Source. I don’t know how reliable this information is.

Moneyball Director Update

Moneyball still isn’t dead yet. Aaron Sorkin has been working on a new draft of the script since Steven Soderbergh was essentially booted a few months ago, but the film still needs a director. And that’s where Capote’s Bennett Miller and Marc Webb, director of (500) Days of Summer, might come into the picture. They’re on the list of a few guys that Sony has been talking to as possible new helmers for the film, which surprisingly still has Brad Pitt attached to star. The question is, who’ll get the job?

Read more. Thanks SDR.

Moneyball still on for Brad

A few months ago, it was one of the most talked about projects in Hollywood. Then “Moneyball” fell prey to script conflicts, a studio that pulled the plug days before cameras were to start rolling and a world-class director — Steven Soderbergh — who quit in protest. Since then, the smoke and noise seems to have faded, along with the film itself.

But Brad Pitt is still convinced that he’ll soon suit up and play ball.

“My gut says yes,” the star said of “Moneyball” on Monday, when we caught up with him on the red carpet at the premiere of his August 21st Quentin Tarantino flick “Inglourious Basterds.”

Read more/discuss.

Sony is still game on making the baseball pic “Moneyball”

Production on “Moneyball” was set to start last month but studio topper Amy Pascal wound up pulling the plug on the pic just days before lensing was to begin when Soderbergh turned in a new version of the script that the studio didn’t want to make.

Pic was put into limited turnaround at the time, giving other studios the chance to pick it up.

But Sony is keeping hold of the project, and Sorkin’s changes will be more in line with the version the studio favored all along, which focuses on Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who assembled a contending baseball club on a shoestring budget by employing a sophisticated computer-based analysis to draft players.

Soderbergh’s draft and production plans took a more documentary approach that the studio felt wouldn’t cross over commercially with moviegoers.

Sorkin is expected to be completed with his revamp by August.

Read more. Thanks SDR.

Pascal talks more Moneyball

It’s never an easy decision when a studio head has to pull the plug on a big movie, as Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal did last week when she shut down “Moneyball,” a $58 million Steven Soderbergh film that was set to star Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the maverick general manager of the Oakland Athletics who almost single-handedly reinvented the way baseball scouts and develops young talent.

The movie, based on the best-selling book by Michael Lewis, wasn’t just in preproduction — it was five days away from filming when Soderbergh turned in a new version of the script that Pascal and her Sony team found unacceptable. The decision was so abrupt that the film’s producer, Michael DeLuca, got the call about it while on his honeymoon in Paris. As a courtesy to the stars, Pascal gave them an opportunity to try and set the film up elsewhere, but no other studio has shown any interest. So the movie remains at Sony, but will it ever get made?

Although stories about the film’s abrupt demise have appeared everywhere — with Variety getting the original scoop — Pascal hasn’t talked about the decision until now. To hear her tell it, Soderbergh delivered a script that was inventive but a radical departure from the film Sony thought he was going to make. It was, put simply, more of a re-creation than a feature film.

“I’ve wanted to work with Steven forever because he’s simply a great filmmaker,” Pascal said last week. “But the draft he turned in wasn’t at all what we’d signed up for. He wanted to make a dramatic re-enactment of events with real people playing themselves. I’d still work with Steven in a minute, but in terms of this project, he wanted to do the film in a different way than we did.”

Read more.

Soderbergh off Moneyball

Time to back away from Moneyball for a while: the New York Times reports that Steven Soderbergh is totally off the project, only hours after the LA Times published an interview with Sony head Amy Pascal, who reiterated the studio’s reasons for bailing on the project. And both the Times and Movieline talked to Major League Baseball (MLB), which has been in the process of negotiating with Sony to approve the use of official logos and team names. The whole convoluted story is after the jump.

OK, so the original report was that Amy Pascal had scrapped the project only days before filming because Soderbergh had turned in a new draft that was a ‘radical departure’ from the previous one by Steve Zaillian. The problem, though, wasn’t that it was more crazy, but that it was too restrained. Zaillian’s draft had been more dramatic, more movie-like, and Soderbergh’s brought it back to reality. Perhaps too close to reality, as that’s what Pascal responded to. (What are the chances that Soderbergh’s draft went back to realism and the truth in order to ensure that MLB played along? Pretty good, though that might not be the only reason.) Read more.