Brad pulls out of political flick

Brad Pitt has pulled out of Universal's political thriller State of Play because of script concerns. The move comes after a couple of weeks of meetings between Pitt and director Kevin MacDonald in an attempt to iron out the concerns. The script cannot be worked on because of the Hollywood screenwriters' strike. Universal is on the fast track to replace the star. Sources say the studio is looking at Johnny Depp, whose movie Shantaram was just postponed by Warner Bros., as well as Russell Crowe. Pitt was set to star with Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn in the adaptation of the British miniseries. He was to play a political consultant-turned-journalist who heads a newspaper's murder investigation involving a fast-rising politician (Norton). According to sources, the studio is mulling its legal options and might sue Pitt. Universal confirmed his departure in a statement: "Brad Pitt has left the Universal Pictures production of State of Play. We remain committed to this project and to the filmmakers, cast members, crew and others who are also involved in making the movie. We reserve all rights in this matter."