‘State of Play’ almost got made with Pitt and Norton instead of Crowe and Affleck

'It's funny with this film," says Kevin Macdonald about his taut conspiracy thrillerState of Play, starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck and opening Friday, "because I find myself spending a disproportionate amount of time talking about a film that might have been, that wasn't."

That would be the State of Play that almost starred Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Just weeks before cameras were set to roll last year, Pitt abandoned the project - at odds with his director over a script that had jettisoned many of the elements from the six-hour British mini-series that the movie is based on. (Norton left as well, due to scheduling issues.)

"It all happened very last-minute, within a week of shooting," recalls Macdonald, on the phone from his home in North London. "It put us in quite a tricky position. But in hindsight, I think we ended up where we should have been. . . . Russell was the right actor for the role, and somehow we got there, albeit by a very circuitous route.

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Filmmaking, Hollywood


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