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in Filmmaking
on Jun 21, 2009

In a “things are tough for everyone” reminder, Peter Bart and Michael Fleming in Variety report that Columbia Pictures’ Amy Pascal has put the new Steven Soderbergh movie, Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, into “limited turnaround” just three days before it was due to begin filming.

From the piece:

The move came after Pascal read the final draft delivered last week by Steven Zaillian and found it very different from the earlier scripts she championed. Pascal was uncomfortable enough with how Soderbergh’s 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.

If a new financier doesn’t emerge by today, Columbia will re-examine options that include replacing Soderbergh (and hoping Pitt doesn’t ankle), delaying the film until Pascal and the filmmaker find themselves in synch on the script or pulling the plug.

According to the piece, either Warner Bros., the studio of the Oceans movies, or Paramount, which just saw the departure of John Lesher and Brad Weston from the executive suites, is hoped to provide a home for the film.

Soderbergh discussed Moneyball briefly in our interview about The Girlfriend Experience:

I remember hearing that you had been working on The Girlfriend Experience for a while, but, nonetheless, it did strike me as a kind of “zeitgeist film.” I thought of your K Street HBO series. Both that project and this one seemed to have a certain kind of elasticity in terms of being able to quickly absorb things going on in the broader culture. How do you create something that has that kind of space within it, or that is able to absorb things from the outside during shooting and postproduction?

It’s kind of a continuation of an idea that I started being enamored of around the time of Traffic actually, which was this fusion of real people and real stories with a fictional story. K Street was another attempt to smash these two ideas together, Bubble was a continuation of it and The Girlfriend Experience is another attempt. And Moneyball, the movie that I’m about to shoot this summer, is, I think, actually going to be the most extreme attempt at what I’ve been playing around with for almost a decade now. I guess it’s something that grows out of my frustration with the norms of cinema narrative storytelling and the fact that I’m convinced that the gains that can be achieved through presenting something that seems like it really is happening in front of you are more significant than the gains you get from something that doesn’t seem as real but is better constructed. That may just be a reflection of my personal taste, but I’m pushing harder and harder to try and get some of these projects into this area where they are almost like designed documentaries. Bubble, GFE and K Street — [on all of these] we literally worked from outlines that just described who’s in the scene and gave a very, very loose description of what the scene is about. They’re all controlled improvisations.

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