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    Columbia Drops the Ball on Brad Pitt's Moneyball

    Brad Pitt Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

    They can't all be home runs for Brad Pitt.

    His latest project, the Steven Soderbergh-directed Moneyball, has been put into "limited turnaround" by Columbia Pictures honcho Amy Pascal after receiving a much different final draft of a script she once fought for.

    Production on the film was set to start Monday in Phoenix, and with only 96 hours to go, Soderbergh's change in vision unsettled Pascal and the brakes were immediately applied to the project.

    The "limited turnaround" gives Soderbergh the opportunity to try and settle with another studio, the aim being bigwigs such as Paramount and Warner Bros. The filmmaker has until Monday to tie down the deal, having spent the weekend with both his and Pitt's CAA agents attempting to hit one out of the park—so to speak.

    With a new deal not yet in place, Columbia will take tomorrow to re-examine where to go from here with Moneyball. There are several options, including delaying the film until Pascal believes she and Soderbergh are on the same page, replacing the director or, the worst-case scenario, pulling the plug on the project altogether.

    This is not the first issue Moneyball has run into. While the baseball-themed flick has been approved by Major League Baseball itself, it follows a format that is less than mainstream and rarely a huge success in theaters. Soderbergh has hired Pitt to play the lead character, Billy Beane, but is also utilizing live interviews with actual athletes, including Daryl Strawberry and Lenny Dykstra, and interspersing the vignettes throughout the movie.

    Reports claim that Soderbergh is confident in his project, but with upwards of $50 million invested in Moneyball, Columbia is understandably weary about moving forward with a project they no longer fully stand behind—especially at the sight of an entirely reworked script mere hours before the project was slated to begin.

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