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Vulture Exclusive: Brad Pitt Options Michael Lewis’s Upcoming Book About the Housing Bubble

The film version of Michael Lewis's Moneyball that Brad Pitt was supposed to star in was famously torpedoed last summer just three days before shooting began. But that seems to have only strengthened Pitt's resolve to make a Michael Lewis movie: Insiders tell Vulture that Pitt's production company, Plan B Entertainment, is closing on a deal to option Lewis's next book, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, a chronicle of Wall Street greed and the swollen U.S. housing market. Pitt is also considering starring.

Over the weekend, producers Scott Rudin and Michael DeLuca (who are based at Disney and Sony, respectively) had been considering pairing up to option the new book, which will hit stores in March. But in a sign that Hollywood may have learned a lesson or two from the recent housing bubble, sources tell Vulture that they were unwilling to engage in a bidding war and dropped out when Pitt's company stepped in. That means Lewis's hot new book is likely headed to Paramount Pictures, where Pitt and his producing partner, Dede Gardner, keep a desk. (And, presumably, the much-needed beard-trimmer that Pitt clearly misplaced in one of its drawers.)

All in all, not a bad week for Lewis; The Blind Side, the latest adaptation of one of his books, just got two Oscar nominations, for Best Picture and Best Actress (Sandra Bullock). And Pitt hasn't quite given up on Moneyball, which is a DeLuca project. While Sony scrubbed the launch of filming because they didn't like director Steven Soderbergh's take, a new draft by Aaron Sorkin is expected soon and Capote director Bennett Miller is attached to direct.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images