Pitt leaves “A State of Play”

Brad Pitt has left the production of Universal Studios A State of Play.? The film, being directed by Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland), was a high profile movie at the studio – attracting the likes of acting heavy weights, Ed Norton, Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams and Robyn Wright-Penn.

But now, the first high profile actor attached the project has dropped out.? Rumor has it that Pitt and the studio were at odds over the direction of the film.? Pitt wanted to move forward with the original version of the film, written by hotshot script writer Matthew Michael Carnahan.? The studio wanted to move forward with the rewritten version of the film.

The writer’s strike has little to do with this, in only so much as a final shooting script couldn’t be finalized and Pitt wasn’t happy with the current state of the script.? Universal released this official statement:

?Brad Pitt has left the Universal Pictures production of `State of Play.? We remain committed to this project and to the filmmakers, cast members, crew and others who are also involved in making the movie. We reserve all rights in this matter.?

If recasting can’t be done quickly other actors attached to this project will no doubt jump ship.? Helen Mirren already has a film lined up with husband-director Taylor Hackford and actor Joe Pesci.

The film has been a high Universal priority since the studio and producers Andrew Hauptman and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner landed the project after a hot bidding battle. Pitt became the first talent attachment, when he agreed to play a politico-turned-journalist whose loyalties are tested when he spearheads a newspaper?s investigation into a murder that leads to the fast-rising politician whose campaigns he once ran.

We’ll be following the developments on this one as they unfold.

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