Steve Zaillian has been brought back into the "Moneyball" fold to re-write the re-writes of a script he himself wrote ages ago.
"Moneyball," based on the Michael Lewis book that follows the 2003 Oakland A's effort to exploit undervalued talent in their quest for a championship, has been heading for the silver screen seemingly forever, and with shooting allegedly scheduled to start in July, Zaillian has been asked to fix a script he wrote years ago, reported Deadline.
It was Zaillian's draft that originally got the film into production, before director Steven Soderbergh got his hands on it, tweaking it with some bizarro storytelling that so turned off the studio, they pulled the plug.
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Aaron Sorkin ("West Wing") then got his hands on it, presenting a draft that attracted not only Sony, but Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright, as well as director Bennett Miller. Sorkin's version is said to have added a "buddy film" element, presumably to the relationship between A's General Manager Billy Beane (Pitt) and his assistant, Paul DePodesta (Hill).*
Now Miller wants Zaillian to weave back into the film three scenes of his that got lost along the way, Sorkin ultimately getting one last shot at polishing it before filming starts.
At this point we'd almost rather watch "The Making of 'Moneyball.'"
Part of what has no doubt plagued this film's development is that baseball movies are a tough enough sell to begin with, but "Moneyball" (the book) isn't really about baseball, per se. It's a study of market inefficiencies and economics, topics that are like crack for some (guilty), but send large majorities of Americans into narcoleptic comas.
But Lewis' "The Blind Side" wasn't really the story of a sassy rich white blond Southern lady, and say what you will about it, it was a success by certain measures.
*Paul DePodesta played baseball and football at Harvard, from which he graduated cum laude; that he is being played by the scruffy, rotund Hill is hilarious.