February 06, 2009
Brad Pitt (left) is reportedly going to portray A's general manager Billy Beane (right) and director Steven Soderbergh wants in on the flick, too. Considering that both teamed up on those Ocean's movies, I'll be disappointed if Scott Caan and Casey Affleck aren't tapped to bring their Rosencratz and Guildenstern sensibilities to the Teahen and Swisher roles. Ditto if they again try that Julia Roberts-playing-herself stunt that made Ocean's Twelve one of the worst movies I've seen.
But, again, how the hell is this going to possibly work? I loved Moneyball as much as anyone — read it in two sittings, in fact — but the main action revolves around discussions of on-base percentage and I don't think "shunning conventional wisdom" quite translates into captivating cinema. Throw in the fact that the A's didn't win the World Series, or even reach it, and I think we're in for a major plot-jacking once the Hollywood brain trust gets its meddling hands on Michael Lewis' masterpiece. (Think the A's beating the Red Sox in the '04 World Series as a dejected Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore look on.) Would I be interested in a revisiting of the Moneyball players in a documentary form? Heck yes. Am I interested in seeing Pitt's spinning of Lewis' work. Not really.
I mean, I watched 21 the other week, because I enjoyed the book it was based on, and the adaptation just plain sucked. If the moviemakers can't make a decent movie out of someone trying to scam a few casinos — better believe Soderbergh wouldn't have done this if it weren't for the 146 stars he had signed for Ocean's 11 & 13 — how are they going to get us jacked up about Bill James and his crew?
For a deeper fantasy casting for Moneyball, check out Sports Crackle Pop.