Pitt drops out of State of Play
State of Play, the Hollywood version of the excellent British political television thriller, has just lost Brad Pitt.
He's dropped out of the film due to script concerns after various meetings to try and iron out the issues.
The original British mini-series State of Play had a political consultant who had become a journalist investigating a fast rising politician who seemed to be involved in a murder. It was a cracking series and a very powerful one. In the film version of State of Play Brad Pitt was to play the consultant and Edward Norton was to play the politician, a great pairing.
Already signed on are Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn, and Michael Matthew Carnahan has written the script which Kevin Macdonald, The Last King of Scotland (Filmstalker review).
So with Macdonald and Carnahan behind it I'm surprised that there were script concerns, and I'm even more surprised that Pitt has pulled out even though there is a writer's strike going on - I mean what can they do to change the script right now? Wouldn't they have to wait until after the strike is over?
According to the story from Reuters through Yahoo News the studio is none too happy and are considering legal options against the star. This suggests that they are planning to film the script as is and move forward with the film while the strike is still on.
Frankly I might have considered a delay in order to allay Pitt's fears and secure him for the lead as that seemed very strong casting. Still, that would have raised costs and perhaps meant that everyone would be uncertain as the filming date moves further and further out.
So now the studio are off looking for a replacement, and the story suggests that Johnny Depp might be their first port of call, especially since he has just had two projects delayed until after the strike.
Either star is a big name, but a Pitt - Norton face off might have been interesting. Why not get someone like Robert Redford in, why does it have to be a younger actor? After the performance in Lions for Lambs (Filmstalker review), he'd be great in this film.