The following is excessively juvenile even by my standards.
Whether you took David Fincher’s Fight Club as satire or generational rallying cry (FYI, there’s only one correct reading, and if you’ve at any point slugged it out with your bare-chested buds in a suburban basement to… feel… something, you read poorly), there’s no denying that Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were quite the combustible pairing. These boys really seemed to fancy each other. In fact, the only thing keeping Fight Club from being Brief Encounter with chipped teeth and bruised cheeks was the fact that both characters happened to be inhabiting the same body.
So how splendid of Norton to re-team with his anarchist other half for Kevin Macdonald’s State of Play! But if you’re hoping for the love that dare not shop at Ikea to be rekindled in this Beltway thriller about a popular Republican congressman (Norton) fighting for his political life after his mistress gets flattened by a subway train (under mysterious circumstances, of course), I’m afraid there’s nothing remotely latent goin’ down. And while Tony Gilroy was recently been brought in to rewrite Matthew Michael Carnahan’s draft as a concession to Pitt, I can’t imagine the star’s edict was "gay it way the fuck up, T".
I did a Crop Report on this script way back in April before Gilroy turned in his rewrite, so I’m hoping the dated elements of the story (i.e. the old-fashioned newsroom dynamic) and the overt contrivances have been reconfigured or, at the very least, muted. There’s a very good film to be made from this material, and now that Pitt and Norton are on board, you can expect that the supporting cast will be gangbusters. Shit, they could conceivably cast Helena Bonham Carter as Norton’s estranged wife.
The film’s scheduled to begin shooting in November. Expect the rest of the cast to fall into place fairly rapidly.