The last time Brad Pitt planned to star in a movie based on a Michael Lewis book, it was the famously ill-fated Moneyball, the Sony project that kicked out director Steven Soderbergh just days before filming was set to begin. But Pitt, undaunted, is now trying to get a studio to take on an even more difficult to translate Lewis book, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, about Wall Street and the collapse of the housing market.

According to Vulture Pitt's Plan B production company is planning to option the book, and given their deal with Paramount, the project will likely set up shop there. Lewis's book, which comes out in March, chronicles the various decisions by Wall Street power brokers, banker and mortgage agents that led to the complete collapse of the housing market in the fall of 2008. It's an insanely complex story, one that I only understand thanks to multiple listens of This American Life episodes like this one. Even if it's a vehicle starring Brad Pitt, I'm hard-pressed to see how a movie about credit default swaps and mortgage-backed securities could become a hit.

But Pitt is a guy who clearly likes a challenge-- he's still attached to Moneyball, a movie about baseball statistics, with Bennett Miller directing. God bless him for sinking his teeth into what interests him, but God help the unprepared moviegoers who walk in for a Brad Pitt movie and get an economics lesson instead.

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