What's up with Brad Pitt dropping out of projects? The guy is notorious for either ditching or almost ditching films right before they're supposed to go into production (The Fountain would be one example), and Variety tells us the hottie commitment-phobe is up to his old tricks yet again. This time Pitt has exited the starring role in State of Play, which was all set to begin shooting last week, however Pitt and director Kevin Macdonald were having lots of issues and, thus, the A-lister has opted out of his deal. An official statement from Universal reads as follows: "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."
The studio will now scramble to fill Pitt's role, and with so many films being postponed because of the strike, they still might be able to snag an A-list replacement on short notice. If they don't secure someone quickly, though, they'll risk losing most of the stellar cast already locked in: Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn. Based on the British miniseries, State of Play follows a "politico-turned-journalist (supposed to be Pitt) 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." No word yet on potential replacements, but the names Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp are floating around due to their respective projects (Angels & Demons,Shantanblahblah) being placed on hold.