"The last-minute demise of a high-profile film project, especially one starring an A-list star" like Brad Pitt, said Michael Cieply in The New York Times, "is Hollywood's equivalent of a bridge collapse." So Sony's recent decision to pull the plug on its "troubled baseball movie," Moneyball, which Steven Soderbergh was set to direct and Pitt was signed on to star in, is a "rare" spectacle—not to mention "painful, expensive, and damaging to all involved."
But it's easy to understand why Sony did it, said Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times. Soderbergh "delivered a script that was inventive but a radical departure from the film Sony thought he was going to make." The studio became "nervous" that the "end result would be one of Soderbergh's 'experimental' films, like Bubble or The Girlfriend Experience, not one of his more polished gems, like Out of Sight or Ocean's Eleven."
Steven Soderbergh's only crime was striving for authenticity, said Dashiell Bennett in Deadspin. Moneyball is based on Michael Lewis' 2003 nonfiction book about Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, who tried to put together a team on a limited budget, and Soderbergh "didn't want anything in the movie that didn't actually happen. So Billy Beane isn't a sweaty, foul-mouthed, Hooters waitress slayer?" Can you really blame Soderbergh for not wanting to go in that direction?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- 10 things you need to know today: March 10, 2014
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- Why is it so expensive to build a bridge in America?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The GOP must try to win over African Americans
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
Subscribe to the Week