The Moneyball star is said to have edged out his pal George Clooney to land the production rights to author Paul Barrett's book Law of the Jungle, which details the legal fight which has raged for two decades over the Lago Agrio oil field.

Government officials and local residents in Ecuador claim bosses at Texaco, the company Chevron bought in 2001, caused serious environmental damage to the rainforest after drilling for oil in the South American country between 1964 and 1992.

A judge issued a whopping $18.2 billion judgement against Chevron executives in 2011, which was later reduced to $9.5 billion by officials at Ecuador's highest court, but the news was marred by accusations the plaintiffs' legal team, led by New York attorney Steven Donziger, had engaged in bribery, fraud, extortion and obstruction of justice, among other charges, to secure the judgement. The allegations have been strenuously denied, but as a result, the defendants have refused to pay up.

On Saturday (02May15), President Rafael Correa extended an invitation to Pitt to visit the affected area himself in a bid to appeal to his "social conscience".

Announcing the offer during his weekly report to the nation's citizens, Correa claimed the movie star was being "used" by Chevron bosses as he believes they financed the publication of Barrett's book to depict the people of Ecuador as "savages" engaged in "corruption".

He added, "(If Pitt) has any doubt (about the allegations), we invite him to Ecuador so that he himself can put his hands into the (polluted) ponds (and verify) that 30 years (sic) after that corrupt and corrupting company (Texaco) left the country, it’s continuing... to poison our jungle."

Pitt has yet to respond to the official invitation.