Director Reveals Brad Pitt Considered Quitting ‘Legends of The Fall’

Director Ed Zwick is poised to provide an intimate glimpse into his collaboration with Brad Pitt. In ‘My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood,’ published by Vanity Fair on Tuesday, the seasoned director, reflects on his experience directing Pitt, aged 60, in the acclaimed film ‘Legends of the Fall’.

Zwick candidly recounts the tumultuous journey of bringing the 1994 film to fruition, notably mentioning the initial setback when Tom Cruise, initially considered for the role of Tristan Ludlow, withdrew from the project due to concerns regarding the character’s moral compass. 

Legends of The Fall
Image Courtesy: Tumblr

Despite this setback, Zwick remained steadfast in his determination to see the project through and searched tirelessly for the perfect actor to embody the complex character of Tristan.

Upon meeting Pitt, Zwick recognized a genuine passion for the script and a deep connection to the character. Pitt’s upbringing in rural Missouri provided him with an authentic understanding of individuals like Tristan, further solidifying Zwick’s belief that he had found the ideal actor for the role.

Legends of The Fall
Image Courtesy: RadarOnline

However, as production progressed, Zwick noticed a shift in Pitt’s attitude towards the film. Following a pivotal table read, Pitt expressed reservations about his involvement, prompting his agent to contemplate withdrawing from the project altogether. Zwick recounts the intervention of producer Marshall Herskovitz, who skillfully navigated the situation and convinced Pitt to remain committed to the film.

Zwick reflects on this incident as the first indication of the complex emotions simmering beneath Pitt’s exterior, acknowledging that the acclaimed actor could display volatility when provoked. This revelation offers a poignant insight into the intricate dynamics of collaboration and the inherent challenges of bringing a creative vision to life in the demanding world of Hollywood filmmaking.

-Sushmita Sarkar