A 90’s Icon Was Supposed To Be in Fight Club

Courtney Love was going to play the part of Marla in Fight Club, but an argument with Brad Pitt about a Kurt Cobain biopic caused the singer to pull out of the project.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

brad pitt

American singer, songwriter, and actress Courtney Love was fully cast and ready to film Fight Club with Brad Pitt when a disagreement between the two of them got her fired from the role. Per MovieWeb, Love recently appeared on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast and spilled the beans about why she wasn’t in Fight Club, despite originally being cast for the part of Marla Singer. As Love explains, the reason she got fired was that she didn’t want Brad Pitt to make a biopic about her late husband, Kurt Cobain, the lead singer for the rock band Nirvana

According to Courtney Love, everything was set for her to play Marla Singer next to Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden and Edward Norton’s Narrator. Before filming had begun, however, Love got a phone call from Good Will Hunting director, Gus Van Sant, and Brad Pitt, who wanted to talk to her about a different project, one they said involved music. What Love didn’t know was that they wanted to talk about turning her late husband’s life into a biopic, and when she found out this was the reason for their call, Love recalled that she went “nuclear” on them.

At the time, biopics were not as common as they are today and Courtney Love clearly felt blindsided by the pitch, which is why her phone call with Brad Pitt became so explosive. Love didn’t feel like Pitt was right for the part of Kurt Cobain, and she rudely told him so. Shortly after, Fight Club director David Fincher gave Love a call and told her that she had been recast by Helena Bonham Carter. 

Courtney Love in the 1994 music video for “Doll Parts”

In the interview, Courtney Love said she had no hard feelings against Helena Bonham Carter replacing her spot next to Brad Pitt in the film. Love admitted that Carter is an excellent actress, though she never saw how Carter portrayed Marla, as Love was never able to bring herself to watch Fight Club after she was booted from it. 

Though Courtney Love regretted her fiery chat with Brad Pitt about the Kurt Cobain biopic, she was able to have a more polite conversation with the Babylon actor years later. In 2020, Pitt reached out to Love again with a similar proposal, only this time he would be producing the film under his Plan B label, not playing the musician himself. Even after all these years, however, Courtney Love felt the same as she did circa 2000—Brad Pitt is not the right person to helm a film about her husband.

On a Zoom call with the actor, Courtney Love told Brad Pitt that she didn’t think he understood her, and if he didn’t understand Love, then he wasn’t going to get Cobain enough to make a film about him. While Love admitted that she would like a biopic made about her late husband, she has put her foot down about Brad Pitt being the one to make it. As far as she is concerned, the film can wait until the people she deems the right fit are on board to bring Cobain’s story to the screen.