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‘Moneyball’ moves from page to screen

Eye on the Oscars: Best Picture - 'Moneyball'

PRODUCERS:
Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, Brad Pitt

ORIGINS:
“I read the book during a vacation,” Horovitz says. “I wasn’t planning on doing any work, but I just got so caught up in Billy Beane’s story that I had to find out if the rights were available.”

FUNDING:
“There are certain budgets you are going to get if you are making ‘Transformers,’ and there are certain budgets you are going to get if you are making a ‘Moneyball,’?” De Luca says. “We never faced any dire financial straits because we stayed sensible and agreed on the (modest) budget in advance.”

HIGH HURDLES:
“Of course, when we segued away from the Steven Soderbergh vision to the Bennett Miller movie, that was challenging, but by then we all had a very firm idea of what we thought the film should be, so we were able to weather that pretty quickly,” De Luca says, regarding the film’s challenging six-year production process, which included Amy Pascal pulling the plug on Soderbergh as director just days before lensing was to begin. “The hardest part really was breaking the back of this nonfiction book and pulling the narrative out.”

DOMINO EFFECT:
“I would deem (screenwriter) Steven Zaillian coming on and blessing the project with his pedigree and his craftsmanship as the first galvanizing event that got us into being regarded as a project with a lot of potential and viability,” De Luca says. “Following that was Brad Pitt’s interest, which propelled us onto the fast track.”

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