Wahlberg Replaces Gosling in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones
We haven't been reporting much on the casting for Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones because it's such an extensive cast that it would be better to wait until it's entirely set. Given that the film starts shooting in Pennsylvania today, the cast is pretty much finalized - except for a rather shocking change. Ryan Gosling (Fracture, Lars and the Real Girl), who had gained 20 pounds and grew a beard for his role, suddenly left the project over the weekend due to "creative differences." This all happened very quickly, just a few days before it was to begin shooting, but they recovered swiftly. He was replaced by Mark Wahlberg, who now completes an ensemble cast of 8 great actors.
The film is an adaptation of the Alice Sebold novel of the same name. The role that Wahlberg is filling is that of Jack Salmon, the grieving father of a 14-year-old girl who is brutally raped and murdered. The girl watches the effects of her death on her family from Heaven. She tells the story and follows the lives of people around her as her parents drift apart, her father becomes obsessed with vengeance and her sister grows into the woman she would never be. Rachel Weisz plays the girl's mother. The remainder of the cast is comprised of Saoirse Ronan as the young Susie Salmon, Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Michael Imperioli, Rose McIver, and Carolyn Dando.
The film has a $70 million budget and was scripted by Peter Jackson and his partners Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. The script is so good that simply after reading it over the weekend, Wahlberg committed to the film on Sunday. I know I may be alone here, but I'm confident in Peter Jackson and just hearing the plot alone makes me think that this almost sounds like a Best Picture film already.
However, I'm intrigued as to the implications of why Gosling left. The public claim is "creative differences" but I don't imagine it would have anything to do with Peter Jackson, as I just said, I have a lot of confidence in him. Any thoughts?