Crowe Sought For State of Play

Universal Pictures is keenly pursuing Russell Crowe to replace Brad Pitt as the star of its political thriller remake “State of Play” reports Variety.

The role in question is that of Cal McCaffrey, a politician turned journalist who spearheads his newspaper’s investigation into a killing that leads to a fast-rising politician (Edward Norton).

The journalist faces two conflicts: He once ran campaigns for the pol and was his confidant, and the journo develops a romance with the pol’s estranged wife (Robin Wright Penn). “Life on Mars” star John Simm memorably played the journo in the 2003 BBC mini-series on which this is based.

Crowe’s decision is expected to be known in a few days and will depend upon whether he can fit filming of the production into his schedule as he’s committed to shooting the Ridley Scott-directed “Nottingham” in March.

Whatever way the decision goes however, it will likely have an impact on the legal storm brewing between the studio and Pitt who quit the picture last week over script concerns, putting the entire production in jeopardy.

“State of Play” was previously scheduled for a November 15th start. Norton, Penn, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman remain in place to star.