As HitFix's own Drew McWeeny poised recently upon the news that Columbia Pictures has abruptly shuttered production 3 days before filming, "is Brad Pitt a heartbreaker?" He's already affected the production of two previous films, "The Fountain" and "State of Play," by ankling at the last minute over creative differences. Now it appears he was just as involved in the "Moneyball" shutdown as Columbia head Amy Pascall.
According to both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, director Steven Soderbergh, who already shot numerous interviews for the project has been let go or left on his own volition, depending on whose story you believe. The film is not dead, however, as "West Wing's" Aaron Sorkin will come on board to re-write an earlier draft of the script by Steve Zaillian. Sorkin has some experience writing the sports world having created the critically acclaimed TV series "Sports Night" over a decade ago for ABC.
The film currently has no director, but Pitt, who "seemed" all on board with Soderbergh's vision is still committed to the project. Production on the drama could resume in only a few months as Sorkin will have his new version ready as soon as August.
"Moneyball" is expected to tell the story of former MLB player Billy Beane and how he used statistics and analytics to field a winning club with a small payroll while general manager of the Oakland Athletics.
In the meantime, you'd have to assume Soderbergh won't be making any films at Columbia in the foreseeable future and it's unclear how this has affected his relationship with his "Ocean's Eleven" star Pitt. They say time heals all wounds, but this is one Hollywood story that isn't over yet.