Apparently, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt will not work together again in the American remake of the series ‘The Shadow of Power’ (‘State of Play’). Last week, Pitt left the project suddenly due to discrepancies about the script.

On Wednesday, the production company released a statement saying that “Brad Pitt has left the Universal Pictures project, ‘The Shadow of Power’ (‘State of Play’). We remain committed to the production, to the crew and cast, as well as to everyone else involved in the film. We retain the rights to the film.”

Russell Crowe replaces Brad Pitt in ‘The Shadow of Power’ (‘State of Play’)

People say that Universal Pictures it takes all weekend trying to recruit Russell Crowe to do his part, but they are still in negotiations. If she finally agrees, she’ll have to be done before she reshoots for Ridley Scott in March’s Nottingham.

Pitt’s role is that of a journalist leading a crime investigation that will lead him to a rapidly rising politician (Edward Norton). The politician’s wife (Robin Wright Penn) has fallen out with him and now begins an affair with Brad Pitt’s character. This supposes a double moral conflict for the journalist, since he has to betray, both emotionally and professionally, the man for whom he directed propaganda campaigns and of whom he was a confidant.
The film is based on a BBC series, of six chapters, which was also entitled ‘State of play’ and was performed by James McAvoy and Bill Nighy. The creator was Paul Abbott.

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Andrew Hauptman and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are the producers who won the rights after hard bidding. Pitt has been so involved that he has even taken part in the election of the director, Kevin Macdonald (‘The Last King of Scotland’). Pitt liked the first version of the script, by Matthew Michael Carnahan, but it just wasn’t Universal’s cup of tea. There were other rewrites by the hand of Peter Morgan, Tony Gilroy or Billy Ray and throughout this process, the opinions of acotr and production company on how the script should be diverged. Pitt wanted it to be more faithful to the British original..

The actor had been involved with this project for almost a year and a half and, still unhappy with the rewrites of the script, I wanted to wait for the strike to end for a new version to be made. However, the production company did not want to postpone filming so as not to lose other cast members that they would have to leave if there was a delay due to date conflicts. For example, Helen Mirren begins in January, along with Joe Pesci, ‘The Love Ranch’ for her husband, director Taylor Hackford. Other performers are Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams.

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Universal was scheduled to start filming on November 15, and Pitt’s protests have already led to delays. They tried to convince the star, seeing that making rewrites was impossible due to the strike, if the rest of the cast was to be kept. Now, although this date is already impossible to meet, the aspirations of Universal Pictures are, at least, that it not be delayed excessively because they would be forced to postpone it indefinitely.

The producer could sue Brad Pitt Well, he says that he has an agreement called “play or pay”, but the actor denies it. Universal Pictures already denounced Mike Myers when he left ‘Dieter’ for the same reasons and an agreement was finally reached.

This is just another of the consequences of that writers’ strike that, for now, has been affecting films like ‘Angels & Demons,’ ‘Shantaram’ and ‘Pinkville,’ among others, which have been postponed. This has freed actors like Johnny Depp or Tom Hanks and we don’t know if Universal could think of them in the event that Crowe did not accept.

Source | Variety

Russell Crowe replaces Brad Pitt in ‘The Shadow of Power’ (‘State of Play’)