The whodunit has had a polish from the brilliant Peter Morgan, who has penned the likes of The Last King of Scotland, The Queen and Frost/Nixon. The original script comes from Richard McBrian (Spooks).
While there's no confirmation of who'll play whom, Pajiba speculates that Pitt is being chased for the role of an investigator called to a ship called the Nautica when a body is found floating in the sea. LaBeouf, they say, is wanted for the role of a young stockbroker (again, really?) who has taken the boat out with his girlfriend. A fourth character, a handyman, sounds like he could be the victim.
The film is being produced by Steve Tisch and William Davies (best known as a screenwriter), responsible for titles like Forrest Gump and How to Train Your Dragon, respectively. Summit Entertainment will stump up the cash, which of course they have plenty of these days, following an astonishing opening weekend for Twilight: Eclipse.
The important caveat here is that while Pitt and LaBeouf have been offered roles, it's generally Hollywood best practice to hope for the biggest stars in the world and then move further down your list when you can't get them. Neither actor has yet signed on the dotted line. But it wouldn't be surprising if they did – the pedigree of the producers and the screenwriter are a powerful package, and with the right director there could be something fresh to this conceit.
Whether LaBeouf will want to drop right back into the world of finance again, having trained as a real stockbroker to play one in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, is uncertain. But the notion of Pitt investigating a murder again, after the classic Se7en, is rather enticing, and the timing could be right for him to return to that sort of character.