Steven Soderbergh was looking forward to making rock musical Cleo next, but when Hugh Jackman dropped out due to scheduling difficulties that moved back in his schedule, leaving a gap that looks set to be filled by sports drama Moneyball, which he's in talks to direct, with Brad Pitt looking at starring.
Based on the book 'Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game' by Michael Lewis, it's the story of Billy Beane, the manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, who used a computer programme to apply "sabremetric"* principles to the game and put together a team that play well but were affordable on his limited budgets. His team have regularly contended with much bigger, more expensive line-ups.
Pitt and Soderbergh worked together, of course, on the three Ocean's films, and are said to be keen to team up again. Pitt's also keen on this story: he's said to have been circling it since last year, when Steve Zaillian signed on to adapt it and when Marley & Me director David Frankel was attached.
Soderbergh has apparently always wanted to make a sports movie, and having finished work on The Informer and The Girlfriend Experience, this could be his next film. Much as we in this country don't really care about baseball (it's just cricket with even sillier clothes, isn't it?) anything from this actor/director pairing should be worth watching.
*"Sabremetric" comes from the acronym SABR, from the Society of Baseball Research, which basically spends a lot of time juggling statistics.