In completely unsurprising news, Paramount and Warner Bros. have both passed on Steven Soderbergh’s orphaned Moneyball movie, reports the L.A. Times. This comes after Sony torpedoed the baseball-statistics film on Friday, giving Soderbergh just three days to find it (and its $57 million budget) a new studio home. The paper also confirms that it was Soderbergh’s updated draft of the original script (written by Steven Zaillian), which Sony chairman Amy Pascal found “unacceptable” — plus, to a lesser degree, the director’s insistence on shooting Moneyball in an “improvisational documentary style” — that set off alarms.
So, to recap, Zaillian’s original script was so good that it made Sony want — nay — need to spend $57 million on a film about baseball statistics, even though such a movie would have limited appeal overseas (and anyone else wary of sitting through a movie about baseball statistics). Then, a week before shooting was to begin — with cameras and catering vans already on their way! — Soderbergh himself turned in a revised version that was so odious it made Amy Pascal completely reverse her earlier decision, likely forfeiting the $10 million Sony had already spent on preproduction. So how bad must Soderbergh’s new draft have been? Surely it’s worth somebody’s $57 million to find out, right?