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So, there is more news today about Steven Soderbergh and Brad Pitt’s beleaguered project, Moneyball, based on the book by Michael Lewis. After being tabled by Columbia Pictures just days before the film was supposed to start shooting, due to a supposedly unacceptable script rewrite from Soderbergh, he and Brad Pitt were allowed to shop the project around to other studios, all of whom passed. But now, Soderbergh has walked away from the project, and Columbia Pictures has called in Aaron Sorkin to take another shot at the script and see if they can’t get something that everyone is happy with, and find another director, and turn this into a movie.

My only question is: who cares?

Don’t get me wrong. I like Steven Soderbergh, and I like Brad Pitt, and I like Aaron Sorkin. They’re all really talented people. And although I haven’t actually read Moneyball, it’s on my bookshelf so I can always point at it and tell people that I have read Moneyball if I feel like it, and maybe one day I’ll even read Moneyball. In any case, it’s supposed to be very good too. And while the subject of baseball statistics might not seem particularly cinematic, I am sure these smart people can Tim Gunn*, designers. Or maybe not. Maybe the reason that the project was tabled in the first place was because in the end it turns out that baseball statistics is just as bad of a subject for a movie as it sounds. In either case, even in a best case scenario, we wouldn’t know for at least a year. Because the movie doesn’t exist.

And yet, regardless of all of these factors, I’ve heard more about this movie’s development than about almost any other movie, ever. Every step of the process has been carefully and thoroughly documented, well outside of the industry press. It has been all over the New York Times. It is on all the blogz. Am I missing something?

What is at stake here?

Perhaps the reason that people seem so concerned with the seemingly quotidian business transactions of Moneyball‘s pre-production, which seem on the surface to be relatively routine–don’t movies get scrapped all the time? SMOKE JUMPERS?–is because, in fact, the very fate of humanity is entwined with the fate of this project. Perhaps this is the movie that David Foster Wallace (R.I.P.) envisioned, a film cartridge so entertaining to viewers that “they become lifeless, losing all interest in anything other than endless viewings of the film.”

And maybe it’s just a fucking movie about baseball statistics that may or may not ever get made so what.

*Make it work.

Comments (16)
  1. This could be the movie David Foster Wallace was imagining, if we didn’t already know that he was imagining Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian; look it up, we could be watching that, right now, endlessly.

  2. Moneyball is the computer that will finally give us the question to the answer “42.”

  3. This movie has gone through more reinventions than Madonna.

    • Seth Macfarlane?

      • No, Seth MacFarlane would be more like “This movie has gone through more reinventions than Kelly Clarkson’s ass. [Cutaway to comically enlarged Kelly Clarkson eating Peter Griffin] [Cut to Peter Griffin inside Kelly Clarkson's stomach. He sees black man.] Peter: “Urkel? Is that you? So this is where you’ve been!” [Urkel shrugs] Peter: “I thought you were in jail! Because all black guys end up in jail. Because you’re black and I’m terrible, so that’s why it’s funny. How do we get out of here?” [Urkel uses an idle chicken bone to cut a slit in Kelly Clarkson's side, and they gush out. Cut to deflated body of Kelly Clarkson, which is still comically large] Urkel: “Did IIIIII do thaaaat?” Peter: “HA HA HA! TOPICAL HUMOR OVER HERE!”
        – end scene –
        Note: this took me about three minutes to type, which is almost twice as much time it takes Family Guy writers to come up with an episode. zing!

  4. I think I had that Madball. Was he the leader? What ever happened to that Madballs movie?

  5. faas  |   Posted on Jul 10th, 2009 +4

    billy beane baby!

  6. If you build a movie based on the book Moneyball, they will come.
    Second Field of Dreams videogum joke of the day FTW!

  7. Chadams  |   Posted on Jul 10th, 2009 -3

    I have never heard of a less appealing premise/adaptation with more important people and so many FREAKING news items attached to it.

    This is the Michael Jackson’s death of the movie business. Not too soon!

  8. I’ve read Moneyball and I liked it; and I’m a huge baseball nerd; and I like Steven Soderbergh, Brad Pitt and Alan Sorkin, but still…no way, Jose (Canseco).

  9. It’s just in the last couple of months that I’ve taken that plunge down the David Foster Wallace rabbit hole. So far, I’ve read Brief Interviews, A Supposedly Fun Thing, and Girl w/t Curious Hair. Every time I pick up a new one, Infinite Jest is the first one I reach for. And then I get scared. I’ve only read one novel approaching that length (Delillo’s Underworld), and while it was totally engaging, it was quite a task.

    Anyway, I was just wondering if I should read Broom of the System before I start Jest. Anyone?

    • I read Infinite Jest first. When I finished it, I turned immediately to the first page and began again. I recommend that you read Broom of the System before Infinite Jest, unless there is a good chance that you will die before getting to Infinite Jest. If death is likely go ahead and jump in. Infinite Jest is my favorite novel of all time.

  10. It’s just in the last couple of months that I’ve taken that plunge down the David Foster Wallace rabbit hole. So far, I’ve read Brief Interviews, A Supposedly Fun Thing, and Girl w/t Curious Hair. Every time I pick up a new one, Infinite Jest is the first one I reach for. And then I get scared. I’ve only read one novel approaching that length (Delillo’s Underworld), and while it was totally engaging, it was quite a task.

    Anyway, I was just wondering if I should read Broom of the System before I start Jest. Anyone?

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