Sony Drops Soderbergh & Pitt’s “Moneyball”

Three days before production was scheduled to begin, Sony Pictures has dropped plans for the $50+ million Steven Soderbergh-directed Brad Pitt-starrer “Moneyball” reports Variety.

The move came on Friday after Sony chief Amy Pascal apparently read the final draft delivered last week by Steve Zaillian and Steven Soderbergh and found it very different from the earlier scripts she championed.

That discomfort was enough for her to put the picture “in limited turnaround” and gives Soderbergh the chance to set it up at another studio. Shooting was supposed to kick off on Monday in Phoenix after three months of pre-production and both cast and finances locked in place.

As a result there’s been a scramble over the weekend to get another studio to sign on, if it can’t be found by Monday then Sony could either entirely drop the project, delay it until the script issues are sorted, or replace Soderbergh and possibly Pitt.

The film is based on the bestselling Michael Lewis book about Billy Beane (Pitt), the former baseballer who undermined his playing career by taking a big paycheck before he was ready, and resurfaced as Oakland A’s general manager who found success fielding competitive teams for low cost.

Pascal’s concern could stem from the film’s unusual structure which includes real interview vignettes with the likes of Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson and Daryl Strawberry interspersed throughout the film.