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Crowe commits to ‘State of Play’

Russell Crowe has committed to star for Universal in “State of Play” in a development that keeps the Kevin Macdonald-directed film on course to begin production this year. Crowe joins Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn, who were all locked into pay-or-play deals when Brad Pitt abruptly exited the project just before Thanksgiving. Crowe will play a politico-turned-journalist who spearheads his newspaper’s investigation into a killing that leads to a fast-rising pol (Norton). The journalist faces two conflicts: He once ran campaigns for the pol and was his confidant, and the journo develops a romance with the pol’s estranged wife (Wright Penn).

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