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One Final Update on Steven Soderbergh's Moneyball Fiasco

by
July 2, 2009
Source: LA Times

Steven Soderbergh - Moneyball

Although we already confirmed last week that no other studios had decided to pick up where Sony left off on Moneyball, meaning it would be shelved for now, I thought it would be appropriate to provide one more final update. The LA Times finally talked with Sony Pictures' exec Amy Pascal, the very same person who developed the project from the start and put a stop to it just a week ago. They're not scrapping it entirely, but Steven Soderbergh is off of the project, and they're searching for a replacement director. As for her side of the story, Pascal pretty much explains what we all already knew - that she didn't like where he was going.

Patrick Goldstein explains: "Studios get nervous when directors say 'Trust me.' Sony was especially concerned, wondering if the end result would be one of Soderbergh's 'experimental' films, like Bubble or The Girlfriend Experience, not one of his more polished gems, like Out of Sight or Ocean's Eleven." That's a viable concern, especially because even as big fan of Soderbergh, I still don't like his experiemental films. Soderbergh's mantra on the film was that "If it didn't happen in real life, it wasn't going to be in the movie." He decided to add in interviews with real baseball players and turn it into a "dramatic reenactment."

"I've wanted to work with Steven forever, because he's simply a great filmmaker," Pascal admits. "But the draft he turned in wasn't at all what we'd signed up for. He wanted to make a dramatic reenactment of events with real people playing themselves. I'd still work with Steven in a minute, but in terms of this project, he wanted to do the film in a different way than we did." When no studio stepped up last week, it seemed as if this movie would end up dying in Sony's hands, but according to Pascal, they still do want to make it. "We love this movie, we always have and we still want to make it. It's a completely innovative way to tell a baseball story. It's about wanting to believe in magic, which is what baseball is all about."

As of now, who really knows what will happen with Moneyball. But we know that Steven Soderbergh is off the project, the script is certainly going to be tweaked, and Sony is looking for a new director. Unfortunately they don't know if they can find a good director or even get Brad Pitt, who was set to star, to sign off on the director once they found one. I don't care if it was more experimental than Sony would've liked, I was looking forward to seeing Soderbergh's version of Moneyball. And it's a bit sad that all we're going to see in the end is a watered-down Hollywood-ized version of it. For more on the story, head over to the LA Times.

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