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Moneyball the Movie Not Happening, Yet

Moneyball is a book written by Michael Lewis in 2003. It was so well-written and influential that it caused many fans and media members to start viewing and analyzing baseball in different ways. It also gave other teams in the sport ideas about how to run their franchises. The book was so influential and controversial that it seemed to cause a rift between the newer stat-geek types and the older scout types. And it was such a successful book that some people decided it would be a good idea to turn it into a movie and even cast Brad Pitt to play the lead role of Oakland A’s GM, Billy Beane. Sounds great right? One huge problem: they were only about five years too late. Apparently someone else saw that because as Fanhouse points out, they’ve canceled production of the movie.

On Friday, Columbia Pictures topper Amy Pascal placed the picture into “limited turnaround,” giving the filmmaker the chance to set it up at another studio, with Warner Bros. and Paramount the prime targets.

The move came after Pascal read a rewrite that Soderbergh did to Steven Zaillian’s script and found it very different from the earlier scripts she championed. Pascal was uncomfortable enough with how the vision had changed that she applied the brakes.

Soderbergh and Pitt’s CAA reps spent the weekend attempting to get another studio to play ball.

I’m not too familiar with all that studio-speak, but from what I gather it’s set to be a high-budget film and it doesn’t currently have a home. That’s good news to me because I couldn’t see where it would fit in. By now the concept of “Moneyball” to a baseball fan is so old that it really wouldn’t be introducing anything new. Moreover, to the people intrigued by Moneyball because they’re learning it for the first time, there are very few remnants of it left in Oakland; most of the players on the A’s or drafted by the A’s at the time of the book are out of baseball, sucking, or on a different team. Furthermore, Billy Beane hasn’t built a successful team for three years and most of the high school players he ripped on in the book have become stars — the movie would just make him look like a fraud. So who was their intended audience? Sports fans to whom this concept is five years old or my sister who loves Brad Pitt but still thinks Rickey Henderson and Mark McGwire plays for the A’s? Good call in canceling production.


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  • Gene

    It appears that the project was put into turnaround because the latest screenplay draft took it in a different direction from that envisioned by Amy Pascal.

    This is commonplace in Hollywood, where new production executives do not like projects developed by their predecessors or where new screenplay drafts take an idea in a different direction.

    If any studio, such as Warner Bros. or Paramount, is interested in pursuing the project, they will reimburse Sony (Columbia) for all of its costs to date annd then develop the film the way they see it. Sony will also retain a net participation in the film as a hedge against it being successful at the box office.