Edward Norton just lost his co-star, as his “Fight Club” compadre Brad Pitt has pulled out of the political thriller “State of Play”, citing “script concerns” as the main reason. The sticking point seems to be that Pitt is not happy with the script, despite having sat down for talks with director Kevin Macdonald (“The Last King of Scotland”), and he wants work done on it. Of course there is a writer’s strike going, and that ain’t gonna happen. As a result, Pitt has walked away from the project, leaving the studios in a bit of a bind and forced to look for a replacement. Their wish list includes Johnny Depp and Russell Crowe.
Pitt was set to star with Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn in the Matthew Michael Carnahan-scripted adaptation of the British miniseries. He was playing a political consultant-turned-journalist who heads a newspaper’s murder investigation involving a fast-rising politician (Norton).
Sources said the studio is mulling its legal options and might sue the actor.
Universal confirmed Pitt’s departure in a statement: “Brad Pitt has left the Universal Pictures production of ‘State of Play.’ We remain committed to this project and to the filmmakers, cast members, crew and others who are also involved in making the movie. We reserve all rights in this matter.”
Why sue Brad Pitt? Maybe he just realized he’s got way too many diapers to change back at home, what with Angelina Jolie doing 50 movies a year and whatnot. And besides, if the product is good enough, the studio shouldn’t have any problems snagging either Depp or Crowe — especially Depp, who seems to be available now that his own movie, “Shantaram”, has been delayed due to the strike. Then again, if the product isn’t good enough, well, that’s another story…