Can anyone spare $50 million so Brad Pitt can film 'Moneyball'?

Hours before they were to start filming "Moneyball," Hollywood big shots hit the "pause" button.

Director Steven Soderbergh and star Brad Pitt were to give Michael Lewis' best seller about the building of Billy Beane's Oakland Athletics empire the silver screen treatment, until a Sony Pictures exec got hold of the most recent script revision.

Green light? Red light.

What could the problem be? I'm guessing someone took out the fictional car chase Beane and rival general manager Ken Williams had on the way to the 2002 draft, or maybe they erased the part where Nick Swisher(notes) assisted the bomb squad in diffusing defusing explosives set to go off if his on-base percentage dipped below .340.

"Dude, they almost blew up Ken Macha," Swish's dialogue was said to be.

Something was amiss, so Sony put on the brakes, giving Soderbergh and Pitt ("Ocean's 11, 12, 13") until today to find different financing. A report in Variety said Soderbergh and Pitt were calling other studios over the weekend to see if anyone would back the project. If they could find the right sucker investor in time, it's lights, camera, action as scheduled baby!

Or else, the project was going back on the shelf until Sony again liked the script.

(More explosions!)

So, if you're one of the folks who answered this ad in Craig's List seeking extras in Phoenix for the film, don't be surprised if you show up to the ballpark (presumably the location shooting is at Chase Field) Monday morning and Pitt's not there.

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