Brad Pitt's new movie, "Moneyball," played to a hometown crowd for its U.S. premiere, as the red carpet show — including stars Pitt, Jonah Hill, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and more — came to Oakland to screen the story of A's general manager Billy Beane and his renegade bases-on-a-budget approach to baseball.
"This is a special screening for us," Pitt told the Mercury News on Monday. "The people of Oakland gave us such a great response. They stayed up with us for hours on end to tape the baseball scenes [for the film] and never lost energy."
"Moneyball," based on Michael Lewis' book about Beane's system-bucking strategies in the early 2000s, was adapted for the screen by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, the latter of whom made it to the Paramount Theatre of the Arts event, as did Lewis.
Beane — whose GM contract with the A's runs through 2012 — was on hand, the Mercury News said, along with retired catcher-first baseman Scott Hatteberg, portrayed in the film by actor Chris Pratt. Though Angelina Jolie didn't make it, A's designated hitter Hideki Matsui managed to pose for a few shots with Pitt.
Also spotted from the cast were Casey Bond, Stephen Bishop and Art Ortiz, who play A's Chad Bradford, David Justice and Eric Chavez; Reed Thompson, the face of the younger Billy Beane; and Kerris Dorsey, who plays a persuasive guitar as Beane's daughter.
Separate from the premiere, Bishop threw the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday at Oakland's game against the Texas Rangers.
"Moneyball," which had its world premiere Sept. 9 at the Toronto International Film Festival, opens Friday in the U.S.
— Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Brad Pitt arrives at the "Moneyball" premiere at the Paramount Theatre of the Arts in Oakland on Sept. 19. Credit: Robert Galbraith / Reuters.