Crowe to replace Pitt in State of Play
After Brad Pitt walked out of State of Play the other day over script issues it seems that Universal have been trying to find another big name star to take his place, and this weekend they have been concentrating on getting Russell Crowe.
Crowe accepting, something we're due to hear about this week, would certainly add controversy to the already troubled production.
Brad Pitt and Universal seem to be on bad terms following his exit. Universal say that it was Pitt's fault and that they are considering suing him for leaving the production and placing it in jeopardy. Meanwhile Pitt's representatives are saying he was forced out because they would not wait for a strike resolution to perform a rewrite and produce a more polished script that he was happier playing.
They also say that Pitt has been keen for the role for over a year and that this was a role he was really keen to play, however it seems his own desire to get it right, or to be right for him, has overridden that desire to play the part.
The story from Variety suggests that Pitt really liked the Matthew Michael Carnahan script for the film adaptation of State of Play, and this was the one he signed up for, but while he was firing out film performances the studio obtained three or four different rewrites and radically changed the script from the one he had originally wanted to do.
I imagine that Russell Crowe will feel a little torn by this, perhaps he might find the same problems with the script, or perhaps he might not want to take the role and back Pitt in his feelings about it, who knows.
One thing is clear though, Crowe would have to do the role quickly, especially with Ridley Scott's Nottingham is looming on the horizon and he would have to run through State of Play quickly to get there.
However, here's a thought, Johnny Depp has just had two projects cancelled on him, and it's been a while since we've seen him in something this straight up. Doesn't his schedule look better suited, and couldn't he carry off the role just as well? He certainly has the star weight.
We'll have to wait for word of what Crowe will say on the project, however perhaps it is better that they pause and get the script right rather than rush forward with it. Then there's the question of whether the studio will sue such a big name star over the late backing out.