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Moneyball Producer Rachael Horovitz: A Lesson in Perseverance

Moneyball Producer Rachael Horovitz: A Lesson in Perseverance

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)

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Therese Shechter

I saw the film this weekend and loved it. Like ‘Friday Night Lights’ it’s a sports story that not *really* about sports, that is, you don’t have to love baseball to love the film.

I think it owes a huge stylistic debt to FNL as well in its shooting style, pacing and use of music and VO to tell the story. This is not to take anything away from Bennett Miller’s creative vision, which is wonderful. I just wonder if both projects were able to create something much more artistic and nuanced by moving away from the rah rah stuff.

Linn D.

Melissa, thanks for sharing this. I agree, an inspiration to us all. And well worth W&H’s time. :)

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