Category: Projects

Moneyball.. passed on

At a time when expensive adult dramas keep striking out at the box office, it appears not even Brad Pitt and director Steven Soderbergh can entice a Hollywood studio to spend about $57 million on a baseball movie.

Pitt and Soderbergh, who were given a short window to set up their adaptation of the 2003 bestselling book “Moneyball” at a rival studio after Sony Pictures unexpectedly killed the project just three days before production was to begin today, have been turned down by Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures, which shared concerns about the film’s high budget and limited commercial appeal.

Sony movie chief Amy Pascal had given them the weekend to try and set the movie up at the two studios where they have the closest ties. Pitt’s production company is based at Paramount, and the actor and Soderbergh have made the “Ocean’s 11” movies at Warner.

On Friday, as first reported by industry trade paper Daily Variety, Sony’s Pascal pulled the plug on the production after Soderbergh turned in a rewrite of the script by Steve Zaillian that she found unacceptable, according to people close to the situation. A person informed about the matter said that Pascal had liked Zaillian’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’ book about Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, but when Soderbergh’s rewrite came in last Wednesday, she was surprised that there were “substantial changes.”

Pascal met with Soderbergh in her Culver City office to see if he was willing to revise his take, but the two couldn’t agree on a vision for the film. They also disagreed over Soderbergh’s plan to shoot the film in a more improvisational documentary style, the person said.

She then made a last-minute decision to scrap the production, shocking those who were about to start shooting, said one individual involved in the project.

By Monday, Paramount and Warner Bros. had already decided to pass. Read more. Thanks Gabriella.

Moneyball heads to Phoenix

Brad Pitt’s new baseball movie is hitting Phoenix in the next day or two for a couple of days of filming.

Pitt plays a baseball executive in the film “Moneyball,” an adaptation of a best-selling book.

So will Pitt be here for the filming? Probably, says the film’s publicist, Spooky Stevens.

“Yes, but it’s not written in stone,” she said.

Stevens wasn’t willing to say much about what’s happening here. She said the production doesn’t disclose locations and wants to slip in and out of town quietly to keep down crowds that might slow their work. She said most of the shooting will take place in Los Angeles but the first two days are in Phoenix.

“Moneyball” is an adaptation of the book “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.” It chronicles Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s major league baseball team. The book portrays him as obsessed with unusual statistics that help find overlooked players who produce contending teams with a cheap payroll. Read more.

‘Moneyball’ is circling all the bases

I have to admit that when Michael DeLuca called me earlier this year, saying he was finally going to get “Moneyball” made into a movie, I figured he must’ve been smoking the proverbial Hollywood crack pipe.

Anyone who loves baseball has read Michael Lewis’ bestseller about how Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane almost single-handedly upended the traditional way baseball evaluates athletic talent. Beane was a prized young baseball player who ended up being picked by the New York Mets in the 1980 major league draft. To the old scouts, Beane was considered a phenom because, well, he looked like a phenom. With his slim, muscular athletic physique, he ran, threw the ball and swung the bat the way great baseball players were supposed to.

But Beane was a bust. He ended up playing only 148 games in the majors, hitting a pathetic .219. So when Beane became a talent evaluator, eventually emerging as the general manager of the Oakland A’s, he spent far more time studying arcane statistics like on-base percentage than he did worrying about whether a prospect was tall or lean or chiseled. Beane’s shrewd wheeling and dealing and his embrace of the stats-driven science of sabermetrics helped the under-financed A’s become a perennial contender in the American League West. Read more. Thanks Intothegrinder. Moneyball is set to start shooting June 11th.

Inglourious Basterds news

The movie will have its Los Angeles premiere @ the Graumann Chinese Theatre come August 10, 2009! Thanks Raiderfan! Info has also been added to the side calendar.

Possible Additional Scene for ‘Inglourious Basterds’ Unraveled. Words are, the added scene for “Inglourious Basterds” will come from a scene director Quentin Tarantino shot but did not assemble for the 62nd Cannes Film Festival’s version. Having reported earlier that the helmer is returning to the editing room, Anne Thompson of Variety gave more details on the particular scene.

In her recent report, the blogger claimed that the scene will be added in front of the La Louisiane sequence. She wrote, “…it comes right before the La Louisiane sequence featuring Michael Fassbender and Diane Kruger as a British soldier under cover and a German movie star who wants to help him bring down the Third Reich.” Read more.

Moneyball location update

Scenes for the upcoming “Moneyball” movie will be shot at Oakland Coliseum sometime in July, though details are still being hammered out.

The movie, based on Michael Lewis’ book of the same name, will star Brad Pitt as General Manager Billy Beane, who was the focus of Lewis’ book chronicling the A’s unique methods for running a major league team.

Whether Pitt will be in Oakland for the filming is unknown. A’s officials haven’t received details on what scenes will be shot at the Coliseum. Several former A’s — including Scott Hatteberg, David Justice and Art Howe — will play themselves in the Columbia Pictures movie, scheduled to be released in 2011.

“They’ve done some pre-work already,” said David Rinetti, the A’s vice president of stadium operations. “They’ve taken photos so they can re-create sets of the clubhouse and Billy’s office area in the studio.”

The 1994 movie “Angels in the Outfield” had some scenes shot in the Coliseum. Parts of the stadium were painted blue to make it look like the home park of the Angels.

There won’t be many cosmetic changes needed for “Moneyball,” which covered the A’s 2002 season. The Coliseum basically looks the same as it did then. Source.