Brad Pitt has pulled out of the movie adaptation of BBC political thriller State of Play, reportedly due to script concerns.

The Fight Club star was due to reunite with Edward Norton in the drama directed by Last King of Scotland helmer Kevin Macdonald, with Dame Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn also to feature.

But while Pitt's interest in the project was piqued by Matthew Michael Carnahan's adaptation of Paul Abbott's UK mini-series, the Hollywood Reporter claims numerous rewrites have left the actor unhappy with the completed script.

And Universal Studios have confirmed Pitt's exit 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."

It is thought he left the project last week, preventing Macdonald from commencing shooting on November 15th.

Pitt was the first actor cast in the film, but it is thought that screenplay drafts from the likes of Peter Morgan, Tony Gilroy and Billy Ray departed from his vision.

And while he was reputedly eager to wait for an end to the Hollywood writers' strike to allow a final rewrite closer to Carnahan's original draft, Universal studios are believed to have told the actor to honour his contract and commence shooting, leading to his depature from the movie.

Universal is to begin its search for a replacement immediately, with Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp now available due to strike-related production delays on Angels and Demons and Shantaram.

22/11/2007 11:41:30