In 2009, after years of work and days before production was scheduled to begin, the plug was pulled on Moneyball which at that time was supposed to be directed by Steven Soderbergh and to star Brad Pitt. Sony ate the $10 million already spent which included a script by A list writer Steve Zaillian because it didn’t think the $57 million budget was worth the gamble.
Most people would give up and let it go. But not Rachael Horovitz. She stuck with it and got the picture back on track still at Sony and now, today, the film opens directed by Bennett Miller with Brad Pitt still as the star. And surprise, word of mouth is really good. A movie that didn’t look mainstream a couple of years ago is going to do well at the box office and on top of that it is getting Oscar buzz.
While this site doesn’t spend time promoting films that don’t star women or have female directors or films that quite frankly don’t need our help, the story for this site is about Rachael Horovitz. She is a lesson to any of us about how passion and commitment can make a huge difference. She kept with it. Even when she was ready to give up because she believed in it.
Don’t get stuck thinking that this movie is about baseball, it’s about embracing change and fighting the status quo. It’s a David vs. Goliath story. It’s about taking a bunch of written off players and making them into a winning machine. And it’s a tour de force for Brad Pitt in a mainstream film that clearly shows why he is not only a huge superstar but a really damn good actor. And Jonah Hill who has been a leader in the adolescent boys comedies that pollute our screen was adorable and actually quite good as the statistician who comes up with the success formula to rebuild Pitt’s baseball team. I was riveted to this like I was riveted to Friday Night Lights.
So let’s give it up for a woman who was able to succeed and get the movie she envisioned in her head up on the screen against all the odds.
Interview with Rachael Horovitz, Executive Producer of Grey Gardens (Women and Hollywood)