Brad Pitt pulled out of his pay or play deal for Universal’s thriller “State of Play” this morning due to script concerns reports the trades, throwing the whole project onto shaky ground.
The departure comes after a fortnight of meetings and delays which prevented the film from kicking off its original start-of-shooting date last Thursday (15th).
The studio will now try to find a star to replace Pitt and has until next Thursday before other actors start leaving the project, with both Johnny Depp and Russell Crowe being mentioned as potential candidates.
Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn remain committed to the adaptation of the acclaimed 2003 British mini-series. Kevin Macdonald (“The Last King of Scotland,” “Touching the Void”) will direct and Matthew Michael Carnahan (“Narc”) has scripted.
Pitt was playing a politician-turned-journalist who spearheads a newspaper’s investigation of a murder, a trail that leads to a fast-rising politician (Norton) whose campaigns were once masterminded by Pitt’s character.