EXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt is negotiating to star in and produce Cogan’s Trade, a comedic crime saga that re-teams Pitt with Andrew Dominik, who directed Pitt in the gunslinger role in the 2007 Western The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. This time, Pitt will play Jackie Cogan, a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that takes place during a high stakes poker game held under the protection of the mob. The picture is an ensemble and Pitt’s Jesse James co-star Casey Affleck has been also rumored as a possible participant. Dominik wrote the script. The New Zealand-born filmmaker has only directed two films, making his debut on the Eric Bana-starrer Chopper in 2000. Cogan’s Trade has been set up independently, financed by Inferno Entertainment, which will handle international sales. The picture is being produced by Plan B’s Pitt and Dede Gardner and Chockstone’s Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz. Inferno’s Bill Johnson and Jim Seibel will be exec producers with Marc Butan, and Roger Schwartz is co-producer. CAA packaged it. The agency reps Dominik as well as Pitt, who’s managed by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: Their first picture together, Eat Pray Love, based on the Elizabeth Gilbert bestseller, isn’t in theaters this summer until August 13th so Sony Pictures doesn’t know how it will fare yet. Nevertheless, the studio just made one of the year’s biggest pitch deals, paying Glee co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy $2.5 million to write an untitled star vehicle for Julia Roberts, and another $2.5 million to direct it. CAA made Murphy’s $5M deal.
In the romantic comedy, Julia will play a working woman married to a stay-at-home husband. She loses her job, their roles are reversed, and she has to adjust to motherhood. Plan B’s Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner will produce with Murphy. Pitt and Gardner also produced Eat Pray Love in which Murphy directed Roberts. That pic was put in turnaround by Paramount with Julia Roberts attached, then picked up by Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal who paid Julia $10M to play a woman who walks away from her marriage to travel the world and find herself.
I hear Pascal made this new deal because Murphy and Roberts worked so well together, and because Pascal likes what she has in Eat Pray Love even though it’s a one-quadrant movie (older females). Murphy returns to Glee but will start writing soon in hopes of putting the new picture in production next year when he has an “out” in his TV contract enabling him …