The concept of assembling a winning baseball team based on empirical evidence might not seem so revolutionary today, but it certainly was when the Oakland Athletics did it back in 2002 – a story that will be dramatized in this fall’s unorthodox underdog sports tale, Moneyball.

An official trailer has been released for Moneyball, which hints at an intelligent and thoughtful examination of how A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) used computer-generated analysis to assemble a winning baseball team.

Moneyball is based on Michael M. Lewis’ 2003 non-fiction book, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”. It focuses on Beane’s successful attempt to put together a strong team – while being constricted by a relatively small budget – by selecting players based on more objective criteria (ex. on-base and slugging percentages) rather than traditionally valued qualities such as batting average or number of stolen bases.

In addition to Pitt, the film’s cast also includes Jonah Hill as Peter Brand (a pseudonym for Beane’s real-life assistant, Paul DePodesta) and Oscar-winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman as A’s manager Art Howe. Moneyball was directed by Bennett Miller, the fellow responsible for the biographical picture Capote – the film that won Hoffman his Best Actor Academy Award.

Check out the Moneyball trailer (via Yahoo! Movies) below:

Oscar-winners Steve Zaillian (Schindler’s List) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) were responsible for adapting Lewis’ original Moneyball novel for the big screen, which in part accounts for the exposition-heavy yet subtly clever dialog on display in this official trailer. Having a solid talent like Miller calling the shots surely didn’t hurt either, as both Pitt and Hill appear to be on their acting A-games. So far, Moneyball looks like it could be one of the rare films in which Hill in particular actually plays someone other than… well, the standard loveable-but-goofy Hill character (see: Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, etc.).

One issue that Moneyball might suffer from is simply the technical nature of the subject matter. The task of explaining all the necessary sports statistics and jargon – while also telling a captivating story about a man defying the odds and leading his team to success – is not exactly an easy one. Hence why having guys like Zallian and Sorkin handling the screenplay is such a good idea.

Moneyball is scheduled to hit theaters in the U.S. on September 23rd, 2011.

Source: Yahoo! Movies