Brad Pitt Leaves State of Play -- Russell Crowe to Step In?

Also: Universal v. Pitt a possibility.

Labor negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers are scheduled to resume today, but they'll come too late to save Brad Pitt's involvement in the Taylor Hackford-directed remake of Paul Abbott's State of Play.

Variety reports that Pitt left the project the day before Thanksgiving, claiming the studio forced his hand by refusing to wait for a strike resolution and insisting on moving forward with an unworkable script. Universal, according to Variety, spent the weekend trying to convince Russell Crowe to take Pitt's place -- and perhaps deciding whether to sue Pitt. From the article:

If the studio chooses to sue Pitt, it would test the validity of a pay-or-play deal. Universal believed that Pitt signed one, while Pitt's reps believed he didn't, because he never approved a shooting script that got rewritten numerous times and never to his satisfaction.

Unfortunately, Pitt and the studio never quite meshed on the script, said several sources. He sparked to Matthew Michael Carnahan's original adaptation of the Paul Abbott-created British miniseries but apparently liked it more than the studio. While the actor made several movies in quick succession, Universal got rewrites by the likes of Peter Morgan, Tony Gilroy and Billy Ray. Pitt's vision departed from that of the studio somewhere along that rewrite trail.

Crowe has Ridley Scott's Nottingham on tap for March, so he'd need to fit State of Play into a relatively small window. If an agreement can't be reached, Universal would either need to find another star in a hurry or risk losing its cast -- including Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn, and Jason Bateman -- to other projects.

Source: Variety

Comments

dracus

Cap Nord

A worthy replacement if there has to be one.

Nov 26 - 05:39 AM

wordweaver

Naturo Wetawashi

It just irks me when they talk about Brad Pitt like he's some kind of mighty god. Just because he is good looking ( yes, I admit), acts fairly well ( yes, he's a good actor just like the other thousands of good actors in Hollywood) and he married a chick who made out with her brother at the oscars, transoformed overnight into a humanitarian and "SAVED" africa by adopting babies, doesn't mean he's irreplaceable. Get over your freakin' selves and hire someone else.

Nov 26 - 11:11 AM

MaryT.

mary patterson

Worldweaver, you've got some issues there totally unrelated to this article. Pitt's move in withdrawing is a big boon for the striking writers. I hate to see another actor undermine Pitt's supportive action. Is Crowe still that desperate to find work?

Pitt's got a contract wth provisions that he has earned through 20 years in the business. Universal needs to honor it. Pitt's dissatisfaction with the reworked script has been well known in Hollywood for quite some time. Universal could have delayed this production and helped to push to settle this strike. Just like many other movies are doing. I'm sure Pitt is unafraid of Universal.

Nov 26 - 12:22 PM

wordweaver

Naturo Wetawashi

Oh MaryT, good ol' Brad pitt with his christian heart is once again fighting the humanitarian course and backing out from this movie in order to alleviate the plight of the suffering writers .
Give me a break already!

Nov 26 - 09:49 PM

LiLHecLou

hector torres

ahh man i was looking forword to norton pitt reteam and crowe is ok replasment but i would like to see leo dicaprio in that role or matt damon

Nov 26 - 12:09 PM

MaryT.

mary patterson

Worldweaver, you've got some issues there totally unrelated to this article. Pitt's move in withdrawing is a big boon for the striking writers. I hate to see another actor undermine Pitt's supportive action. Is Crowe still that desperate to find work?

Pitt's got a contract wth provisions that he has earned through 20 years in the business. Universal needs to honor it. Pitt's dissatisfaction with the reworked script has been well known in Hollywood for quite some time. Universal could have delayed this production and helped to push to settle this strike. Just like many other movies are doing. I'm sure Pitt is unafraid of Universal.

Nov 26 - 12:22 PM

wordweaver

Naturo Wetawashi

Oh MaryT, good ol' Brad pitt with his christian heart is once again fighting the humanitarian course and backing out from this movie in order to alleviate the plight of the suffering writers .
Give me a break already!

Nov 26 - 09:49 PM

TheAnswerMVP2001

Snipes .

Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams and Ed Norton... I'm there! I'll see anything Russell and Rachel is in so a film with both of them is a bonus. Pitt's overrated in my eyes and if Russell replaces him your getting an actor that is at least twice as good.

Nov 26 - 05:49 PM

wordweaver

Naturo Wetawashi

Oh MaryT, good ol' Brad pitt with his christian heart is once again fighting the humanitarian course and backing out from this movie in order to alleviate the plight of the suffering writers .
Give me a break already!

Nov 26 - 09:49 PM

nettie2k

Annette Blount

This would be an upgrade, believe me. Crowe and Norton? I'm there.

Nov 29 - 07:05 AM

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