Brad Pitt may have walked out of a film and into a lawsuit:

Brad Pitt faces possible legal action after pulling out of a movie.

The 43-year-old was to have played the part of an investigative reporter in a big screen adaptation of the British TV miniseries State of Play.

Production was to have started earlier this month.

Universal says it’s keeping the option open of suing Pitt if his part can’t be recast in time to keep the other actors in place.

The other stars of State of Play include Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Robin Wright Penn.

Universal likely isn’t taking a "no harm, no foul" approach because it likes Brad Pitt. Rather, every plaintiff has a duty to mitigate the damages caused by a defendant (particularly in breach of contract situations). If the plaintiff does not, they are not entitled to those damages resulting from their failure to mitigate.

If the movie does in fact fall apart, it would be a truly fascinating trial. There are few large-scale economic endeavors more speculative, and harder to estimate the results of, than a big budget drama. The trial would involve a day or two of testimony and then three weeks of expert testimony on the likely results of the movie.

On appeal (virtually guaranteed with this much money at stake), Brad Pitt’s lawyer would certainly attack the plaintiff for failing to connect the breach of contract to all of those damages. Just another issue that a plaintiff has to look out for to avoid buying themselves an appeal and retrial or, worse, total dismissal.