How Bobby Kotick ended up alongside Brad Pitt in “Moneyball”

August 5, 2011


How did Bobby Kotick, the CEO of the largest video game company in the United States, end up with a speaking role alongside Brad Pitt in the upcoming movie Moneyball?

In the baseball-meets-math flick based on the bestseller by Michael Lewis, Kotick plays a convincing owner of the Oakland Athletics, at least for the three seconds he is seen in the trailer (see clip above starting at 17 seconds).

When Brad Pitt, playing general manager Billy Beane, comes into his office asking him for a bigger budget to buy players, Kotick says, “we’re not in New York. Find players with the money we do have.”

Sounds a bit like the real-life Kotick who trimmed down Activision Blizzard – known for popular games like Black Ops — into a leaner organization focused on its top games.

Turns out Kotick is a friend of director Bennett Miller (who also directed Capote) and was trying to get him to direct a short film for his company’s non-profit, The Call Of Duty Endowment, which helps soldiers adapt to civilian careers after military service.

Kotick told Reuters this week:

“We were having dinner and Bennett was talking about Moneyball and he asked me a little bit about an owner’s psychology and what an owner would be like. I started reading the script and I said, I really think the words don’t capture how an owner would react to this part of the conversation.  I also loved Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball . We were having this back and forth and Bennett said ‘why don’t you do it? It would make the role very authentic.’ And I said, ‘I will, but only if you made my Call of Duty endowment movie.’”

Kotick’s acting debut hits theaters on September 23. Meanwhile, Miller kept his part of the deal and directed a short film for the non-profit, which will be out at a later date.

But investors should not be concerned that Kotick is jumping ship from Activision for Hollywood.

“I don’t get a credit and you’ll never see me acting again,” he says.

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