Courtney Love is airing out old grievances involving Fight Club star Brad Pitt.
The actress and Grammy-nominated musician has asserted that she was set for the David Fincher film’s key role of Marla Singer — eventually to be played by Helena Bonham Carter — before Pitt intervened and got her “fired.” Love says that this happened because she “wouldn’t let Brad play” her late husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, after he pitched her on the prospect.
Love explained that when Pitt first brought up the idea, she “went nuclear.” And that all these years later, she wishes she’d instead embraced “the shark instinct” — letting Pitt think she’d go along with the idea of him portraying Cobain, until she was able to get through production on Fight Club.
Reps for Pitt couldn’t be reached for comment. But Love’s remarks came during an interview on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast published Monday, during which she claimed that Pitt has been hoping to make a Cobain-centric film since 1996. She went on to say during her appearance that while she was dating Pitt’s Fight Club co-star Edward Norton at the time of her firing, the actor broke down and sobbed that he didn’t “have the power” to get her re-hired, while mourning the loss of his mother.
She went on to call her supposed replacement Carter “a genius” and to note that she’s still “never seen” Fight Club. Love also said that Pitt approached her in 2020 about producing a Kurt Cobain film through his company Plan B, though she remained disinclined to hear him out. “I did a Zoom with him and I stuck up for myself. I said, ‘Listen, man. I don’t know that I trust you, and I don’t know that your movies are for profit,’” she shared. “‘They’re really good social-justice movies, but…if you don’t get me, you kind of don’t get Kurt, and I don’t feel like you do, Brad.’”
Love said that she will, however, make a Kurt Cobain biopic with someone –with Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy at Warner Bros., perhaps — “because they know how to make a f**king movie.”
Love married Kobain in 1992, with the iconic rocker committing suicide in 1994. He was 27.
Fincher’s film Fight Club, based on the same-name novel by Chuck Palahniuk, was released by 20th Century Fox in 1999. The anarchic piece watches as an unnamed, insomniac office worker (Norton) and the devil-may-care soap maker Tyler Durden (Pitt) form an underground fight club that evolves into much more. Love’s would-be character Singer is Fight Club’s female lead — a prostitute and sometime-love interest of Durden’s.
While the film had a mixed reception with critics and underperformed in its initial box office bow, it would ultimately become profitable and develop a reputation as a beloved cult classic upon its release on home video.