Steven Soderbergh on 'Moneyball': 'Part of My Problem With That Was My Refusal to Do Something That Didn't Happen'
Last week, resident movie blogger curmudgeon Jeffrey Wells lamented the fact that the "Moneyball" DVD/Blu-ray extras didn't mention Steven Soderbergh once. The Oscar-winning director was knee-deep in "Moneyball" planning back in June 2009 when he was unceremoniously dumped at the eleventh hour by Sony president Amy Pascal. The project was put in a turnaround until Brad Pitt recruited "Capote" director Bennett Miller to helm the adaptation of Michael Lewis's bestseller, and the rest is history: "Moneyball" is on track to earn multiple Oscar nominations later this month, including a potential nod for Best Picture.
But what of Soderbergh? The director has kept quiet when it comes to his "Moneyball" ouster, but in a new interview with Indiewire, he slightly opens up. As it turns out, his marriage to accuracy is what wound up getting in the way:
I'm less prone to change things now that I would have been 10, 15 years ago. "Moneyball" is the perfect example of that. At the end of the day, part of my problem with that was my refusal to do something that didn't happen. I wanted the movie to be absolutely accurate in every particular. [...] ["Moneyball"] was a sort of slow-motion car wreck when it finally landed on everyone just how rigorous I was being about that. There was a bit of a, "Well, wait a minute." And I get it. That was the only way I knew how to do it and it was the only way I wanted to do it. If that's not the way it's going to get done, then you should get rid of me.
And so they did. Not that things aren't going well for Soderbergh: "Contagion" was one of his bigger recent hits, "Haywire" already has strong buzz in the lead up to its release next week, and "Magic Mike" could be a sleeper success this summer.
"Maybe since 'Che,' my interest in and appetite for 'serious' movies, making them, has really dropped," Soderbergh said about his commercial resurgence. "I just feel like I want to have more fun as a filmmaker and I'd like to make things that are more fun for the audience. I don't need to be taken anymore seriously that I am."