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Can Aaron Sorkin Save Sony’s Baseball Epic ‘Moneyball’?


Sony recently announced that Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Sports Night) has been hired to rewrite the screenplay for their upcoming baseball epic Moneyball, in what has become an ongoing saga to bring Michael Lewisbestselling book to the big screen.

Production was set to begin earlier this month with Steven Soderbergh directing a screenplay by Oscar winner Steven Zaillian and with Brad Pitt in the lead role, but Sony chairman Amy Pascal (pictured above) ordered that the production be halted. While not unheard of, the decision to stop production at such a late hour is unusual. This was due to the fact that Soderbergh took it upon himself to rewrite the script and turn it into something that barely resembled the original.

His version was more experimental and, in the eyes of Sony’s top executives, “uncommercial”. $10 million had already been spent, but the studio was willing to take it as a loss. However, the estimated $50 million budget was a risk they weren’t willing to take with Soderbergh because, these days, Hollywood studios are holding onto their money tighter than an old lady on a New York City subway.

Sony is now pinning its hopes on Sorkin, hoping that his last minute rewrite can attract another top tier director and star. As for Soderbergh, he can get back to work on Cleo, his 3-D Cleopatra movie starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Hugh Jackman. Now there’s a format that he could have some fun with. I always thought that Erin Brokovich would’ve been more compelling if her cleavage had popped out of the screen.

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