Variety reports that Brad Pitt has pulled out of a pay or play deal on State of Play, putting the Universal Pictures drama in a state of flux.
Pitt dropped out of the film early Wednesday, following two weeks of struggle and meetings with director Kevin Macdonald that prevented the film from making its original Nov. 15 production start date.
The trade says the studio will try to find a star to replace Pitt. If Universal doesn’t recast and get the picture going by Nov. 29, it will begin losing the other actors in the film.
Pitt was set to star with Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn in the Matthew Michael Carnahan-scripted adaptation of the British mini-series. Pitt was playing a politician-turned-journalist who spearheads a newspaper’s investigation of a murder, a trail that leads to the fast-rising pol whose campaigns were once masterminded by Pitt’s character.
Universal said: “Brad Pitt has left the Universal Pictures production of ‘State of Play.’ We remain committed to this project and to the filmmakers, cast members, crew and others who are also involved in making the movie. We reserve all rights in this matter.”