Well it’s official. After a week of wooing and selling, the producers of the political thriller “State of Play” have finally gotten their man: Russell Crowe has officially signed on to join the film, replacing Brad Pitt, says Variety. He will be joining an A-list cast that includes Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn. The film, a remake of a British mini-series of the same name, will be directed by Kevin Macdonald (“Last King of Scotland”). Word is Kevin Macdonald himself was in Australia over the last few days pitching the film to Crowe.
Crowe will play a politico-turned-journalist who spearheads his newspaper’s investigation into a killing that leads to a fast-rising pol (Norton). The journalist faces two conflicts: he once ran campaigns for the pol and was his confidante; the journalist develops a romance with the pol’s estranged wife (Wright Penn).
Behind-the-scenes, the producers of “State of Play” are contemplating suing Brad Pitt for abruptly leaving the project pre-Thanksgiving, citing script concerns, and putting the film at risk. They probably won’t go through with it, although I might have. That’s some kind of scummy on Pitt’s part, I gotta say.