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Courtney Love Says Her Reaction To Brad Pitt's Kurt Cobain Biopic Pitch Got Her Fired From Fight Club

"The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club." Of course, that is the classic line of dialogue that the narrator (Edward Norton) delivers through his alternate personality, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) in director David Fincher's dizzying 1999 psychological thriller, "Fight Club." However, when it comes to the tussles surrounding the film in the real world, the rules about not talking about "Fight Club" apparently don't apply to musician-actor Courtney Love. That's especially so when it involves ideas from one of the film's stars, who pitched a movie about her late husband, Kurt Cobain.

Big-screen music biopics are nothing new, with several late, notable classic performers receiving such treatment, including Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer) in "The Doors," Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) in "Bohemian Rhapsody," and Aretha Franklin (Jennifer Hudson) in "Respect." In 2022 alone, the stories of two more singing legends were told: "Elvis," starring Austin Butler in the titular role; and Naomi Ackie as the lead in "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody."

What's notable about the Presley and Houston films is that they were made with the cooperation of the icons' estates (via Express and BuzzFeed News). If an official Cobain film were ever to be produced, it would need the blessing of Love, who was married to Nirvana frontman in 1994 when he tragically took his own life at age 27. 

Now, more than 23 years after the release of "Fight Club," Love claims in an interview with "WTF" podcast host Marc Maron (via Variety) that she was once cast — and fired — from her "Fight Club" role as Marla Singer, allegedly after refusing an offer from Pitt to make a film about Cobain.

Love claims rejecting the Cobain biopic pitch cost her the role of Maria Singer

Courtney Love, while speaking to Marc Maron for his podcast, revealed that during the production of "Fight Club," she was pitched by her then-colleague Brad Pitt and filmmaker Gus Van Sant a film that would cast Pitt as Kurt Cobain. Rather than be flattered by the idea of the film star wanting to portray her late husband, Love reacted in a decidedly different way. "I wouldn't let Brad play Kurt," Love recalled to Maron. "I went nuclear [and I said to Pitt], 'I don't do Faust. Who the f**k do you think are?'"

Love told Maron that her consternation came down to concerns about Pitt's intentions in making a film about Cobain, saying, "[I told Pitt], 'I don't know if I trust you and I don't know that your movies are for profit. 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.'"

The rejection resulted in a gut punch to Love — and Edward Norton — since the two were dating at the time and Norton had to break the news of her dismissal, Love recalled. Love recounted to Maron that Norton was "sobbing" when he dropped the hammer, lamenting how he didn't "have the power," apparently, to keep her from getting fired. The role of Marla Singer ended up going to Helena Bonham Carter.