Brad Pitt, Steven Soderbergh strike out with Sony Pictures and Moneyball?

No-MoneyballThough I’m not a huge fan of the sport itself, I do love me a good baseball movie, mostly because film takes away what’s dull about the sport and gives you all the action. (For the record, my favorite baseball movie of all time is Bull Durham.) I like the internal drama of the characters more than the drama of the game, mostly because I know that in a real baseball game, there are so many stretches of time between real dramatic moments.

I do have to wonder if my reasoning ties into what Sony Pictures co-chairman (and head of production for Columbia Pictures) Amy Pascal’s was thinking when she put Moneyball, a movie that was to be directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Brad Pitt, into limited turnaround as reported by Variety last Friday.

Based on a non-fiction novel by Michael Lewis, the story behind Moneyball is all about how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane managed to put together teams that went deep in the World Series against other teams like the Boston Red Sox or the New York Yankees which can buy “better” players whose agents ask for extraordinary salaries.

The article teases that Soderbergh’s most recent draft of the script was different than what she liked about it when Pascal first agreed to greenlight it back in October 2008, and that noting that even with Soderbergh including former baseball greats like David Justice and Darryl Strawberry in interview segments that would be interspersed throughout the narrative and Pitt reducing his salary, spending more than $50 million on a baseball movie with an iffy script is suicide because the movie would have to gross at least three times that amount around the world in order to be considered a success—and the mostly American sport doesn’t translate well in some major overseas markets.

And before you get all indignant about the idea of a woman nixing a baseball movie on the ground that she “just doesn’t get it,” may I remind you that according to Pascal’s bio that A League of Their Own was made during her time there?

Soderbergh has until today to either back down from the script changes to push it through with Sony/Columbia or find another studio who’d be willing to take a chance on a baseball movie. The truly heart-breaking part for everyone else on the production team is that the movie was just three days away from rolling film in Phoenix.

Posted on June 22, 2009 at 06:26 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News

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  1. Written by Nicole/MadlabPost
    on 2009-06-22 at 14:15

    Soderbergh is busy these days it seems. I never knew about this Moneyball movie but Soderbergh’s recent film, The Girlfriend Experience was recent within the last month or so and has received some buzz. Much like you, I’m not a fan of baseball but have a few friends that may enjoy Moneyball.

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