Universal's Political Thriller State of Play

Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck are set to star in Kevin Macdonald's State of Play, a political thriller Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were initially attached to. Based on the critically acclaimed BBC miniseries, this film follows a congressman (Affleck) whose meteoric political rise is put in jeopardy by an investigation into the murder of his mistress. A newspaper journalist (Crowe) investigating the suspicious death unravels a conspiracy among some of the nation's most powerful political and corporate players.

Brad Pitt was set to play Russell Crowe's part but bailed because of disagreements with the studio over the script rewrites. The delay in filming caused Edward Norton to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. He was replaced by Affleck.

State of Play hits theaters on April 17.