Hugh Jackman’s long-standing commitment to playing adamantium-clawed mutant Wolverine across multiple X-Men films has just forced him to drop out of Collateral Beauty, the gestating drama that’s next on deck for Me & Earl & the Dying Girl helmer Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, according to Deadline.
Jackman was committed to the buzzy drama but couldn’t make it work with shooting commitments for James Mangold’s untitled Wolverine stand-alone, which serve as the actor’s final outing as the beloved superhero character. One has to wonder whether Jackman wishes he could have taken off the claws for good a little earlier, seeing as his deals for the role are still making it problematic for him to balance other dramatic fare.
Nevertheless, PalmStar is moving ahead with the pic and is reportedly eyeing Johnny Depp to take over the lead role. Collateral Beauty is one of the more competitive titles on the market right now, so it wouldn’t be shocking for it to attract an actor of Depp’s caliber, but a deal for him to come aboard is still in very early stages.
Rooney Mara remains attached to the Allan Loeb-scribed drama, which focuses on a New York City ad executive who becomes severely depressed following a personal tragedy and attempts to combat the mental illness in an unconventional manner. Jason Segel is still seemingly signed on as well.
Though Depp’s credibility has taken a hit in recent years with box office turkeys like Transcendence and Mortdecai, producers are smart to consider the actor. He’s about to become an awards contender for what looks to be a fierce, transformative performance as Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in this fall’s Black Mass, and many are anticipating that the star will showcase a dramatic side we haven’t seen since 2009’s Public Enemies.
Principal photography on Collateral Beauty is still set for this fall.
Source: The Playlist