Well, according to Variety, Columbia Pictures chair Amy Pascal found the latest script revisions for Moneyball so different from what she'd originally greenlighted that she pulled the plug on Friday. Filming was supposed to start in Phoenix on Monday. This is the equivalent of canceling a flight while the plane is accelerating down the runway. Those script revisions must have really been something. Maybe Soderbergh had decided to turn it into a four-hour biography of Pancho Villa.
Moneyball is based on a nonfiction book that uses the 2002 Oakland A's baseball team as a case study for examining how less wealthy teams can compete with richer ones (like the Yankees) by hiring players whose statistics in certain areas -- but not the ones usually considered, like batting averages and RBIs -- indicate they'll perform well. Yes, it's a book about statistics. You can see why a movie would be a hard sell to begin with. But the book was a bestseller, appealing to baseball fans (who tend to love statistics) and readers who enjoy a good underdog story. Pitt was to play A's manager Billy Beane, whose theories about which players would be most valuable went against conventional wisdom but were ultimately vindicated.
Technically, the film is now in "turnaround," meaning Soderbergh and Pitt had the weekend to find another studio to back the project. Assuming they don't, Columbia still owns it, and can decide whether to replace Soderbergh (who co-wrote the screenplay with Steve Zaillian), to delay things until Pascal and Soderbergh can agree on the script, or to scrap the film altogether. Whatever happens, it won't be going in front of the cameras on Monday.