That’s right, folks, Moneyball, Michael Lewis’ other, less popular book not about Sandra Bullock bringing pass blocking to the inner city, is once again set to hit theaters. From Deadline:
Columbia Pictures is locking in a July start date for the Bennett Miller [Capote]-directed Moneyball. The picture is close to getting a green light after the above the line participants adjusted their deals to bring the film’s budget down from near $60 million to somewhere in the vicinity of $47 million.
The effort was helped by the delivery of the latest rewrite by Aaron Sorkin [your parents’ Joss Whedon]. The participants seemed to take to heart the message of the Michael Lewis Moneyball book, which was about how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane hurt his playing career becoming a bonus baby phenom who signed for the money, and then remade himself as a baseball executive who fielded winning A’s teams with a fraction of the payroll that rivals were spending. I’m told everybody took deal haircuts, including Brad Pitt, who is certainly getting less than the $15 million he signed on for when he originally agreed to play Beane.
As I wrote about Freakonomics, the problem with turning a research-based non-fiction book into a conventionally narrative feature is that they take a book that doesn’t look like a movie and go, “Hmm, how could we make this look like a movie? What does a movie look like?” And the next thing you know, they’ve turned all the interesting insights and unique structure into 50 f*cked-out clichés and it looks like every sh*tty movie ever. That was basically what Sony signed on for with the original Moneyball script from Stan Chervin and Steve Zaillian. Then Steven Soderbergh came in and actually tried to make a movie that was unconventional like the book, and Sony bailed on it three days before shooting. Brad Pitt’s Moneyballs were probably pretty blue at that point. Now, they’ve got a respected writer and director (the guy who wrote West Wing and the director of Capote) on board, and it’ll probably be an okay movie, but with little chance to innovate. Like it or not (and keep in mind, it sucked) The Blind Side has set the movement back ten years. It’s basically the film equivalent of Two and a Half Men. And that’s why God made Sandra Bullock’s husband f*ck a Nazi. The lord works in mysterious ways.