Universal is in final negotiations with Russell Crowe to replace Brad Pitt in political thriller “State of Play” reports Reuters.
Just before Thanksgiving, Pitt pulled out of the project citing script concerns – problems that can’t be fixed due to the writer’s strike. The studio remains determined to go ahead with the project and due to the other cast’s commitments they have to lock in someone for that lead role before Christmas.
So last weekend the studio began trying to woo Crowe to takeover the role of a political consultant-turned-journalist who heads a newspaper’s murder investigation involving a fast-rising politician (Edward Norton).
Director Kevin Macdonald (“The Last King of Scotland”) flew to Australia to persuade Crowe to take the part in person and it seems he has succeeded. As of now the deal seems to be in its final stages. Previously scheduling arrangements was the major hurdle to overcome (Crowe is committed to Ridley Scott’s “Nottingham” starting in March).