Last June, Steven Soderbergh’s adaptation of Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball fell apart only three days before shooting was set to begin. With Brad Pitt as the lead, Moneyball focused on the true story of how the Oakland Athletics became a competitive team by relying on statistics rather than the higher payrolls of their competitors. It’s unlikely for a film to reach production so soon with a big name director and star and have the plug pulled at the last minute. However, even though Soderbergh has moved on to other projects (including another one about baseball) Sony Pictures is still looking to move the process forward and meeting with several directors including Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) and Bennett Miller (Capote). Hit the jump to see if someone can finally hit this movie.
According to Risky Biz Blog, Sony and Pitt have met with several directors and although the studio has not made any formal offers, directors Marc Webb and Bennett Miller are just two of the names being considered.
Webb has become a hot property this year after his Sundance hit (500) Days of Summer. He’s attached to direct a remake of the Danish thriller “Just Another Love Story” and Universal’s remake of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” but as Risky Biz notes, neither of these are a go project and Sony is itching to pull the trigger on Moneyball.
As for Bennett, he’s not a director who attaches himself to hundreds of projects (*cough*Ridley Scott*cough*) and the only movie he’s even been connected with since 2005’s Capote (for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Director) is a movie called Foxcatcher, which like Moneyball, is also a real-life tale, except it’s about a schizophrenic member of the DuPont family as opposed to a guy that helped a baseball team by measuring on-base percentage.
Building on this story, ThePlaylist reports that they’ve heard Webb was out a while ago probably due to various, unnamed reasons. They were also told that Richard Linklater was in consideration but turned down the project flat. My guess is that it didn’t have enough dull conversations that were in no way related to the plot or developing the characters.
ThePlaylist also reports that Aaron Sorkin’s rewrite on the script has made the film funnier, which doesn’t seem too difficult as Soderbergh’s draft of the script sucked out all the life from Steve Zaillian’s previous draft. As Scriptshadow concludes, Soderbergh, “turned a solid script into an incomprehensible mess. And that’s why his movie was shut down.”
We’ll continue following this story and see if Moneyball ever on base. We will also continue using baseball references because Moneyball is a movie about baseball. We have no choice.