Casting News: Woody Harrelson Replacing Mickey Rourke in Seven Psychopaths; Bradley Cooper Out of Man from U.N.C.L.E. Adaptation
11.10.11 by BJSprecher
Mickey Rourke has never been one to pull his punches, a trait that has endeared him to his close friends and his dedicated fans, if not the studio execs and directors who are more and more frequently the target of his enmity. In recent weeks, Rourke has been making the rounds to promote his new movie, Immortals, and amidst the praise for director Tarsem Singh — "I'd work with Tarsem tomorrow. Absolutely. And not only is he a visual genius, he's so prepared." — the Academy Award-nominated actor has managed to slip in a few jabs at others he has worked with in recent years. First, he blasted Marvel Studios — President of Production Kevin Feige was his likely target, as he ultimately calls all of the shots on Marvel movies — for turning his nuanced performance as Whiplash in Iron Man 2 into a "one-dimensional villain". Then, Rourke called director Darren Aronofsky, the man who helped resurrect his career by giving him the lead in The Wrestler, a "sonofab*tch" and alluded that the acclaimed director was cheap (after which Rourke admitted that he would "probably go to work for free for [Aronofsky] again").
Rourke saved the bitterest of his recent barbs for Martin McDonagh, the Oscar-nominated writer (In Bruges) and Oscar-winning director (Six Shooter short) who wanted him to star in his new movie, Seven Psychopaths.
Rourke would have starred alongside Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell, but in an interview with MovieFone, Rourke called McDonagh a "jerkoff" who "wanted a whole lot for nothing," and said that he is definitely not going to be starring in the movie. So, where does that leave the highly-anticipated sequel to In Bruges? Apparently, Rourke's departure was little more than a bump in the road, as Deadline has reported that Woody Harrelson will be joining the cast in Rourke's stead, along with Tom Waits and Olga Kurylenko.
Once again performing double-duty as both screenwriter and director, McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths uses the same combination of black comedy, violence and a killer (no pun intended) ensemble cast that made In Bruges a favorite. Here's the synopsis:
Marty (Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay Seven Psychopaths. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration.
Billy (Rockwell) is Marty's best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. Hans (Walken) is Billy's partner in crime. A religious man with a violent past. Charlie (Harrelson) is the psychopathetic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie's unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn't think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale.
Rourke isn't the only actor to drop out of a high-profile ensemble movie with an Oscar-winning director at the helm. According to TheWrap, Bradley Cooper is no longer in talks to play the role of secret agent Napoleon Solo in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Steven Soderbergh's (Traffic) remake of the '60s TV series of the same name about a secret international spy and law-enforcement agency called U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement).
Cooper was only the latest in a string of actors who have been mentioned in connection with the role. The part was initially offered to George Clooney, but he turned it down because of the stunt work required of the role. After both Matt Damon and Johnny Depp turned it down, Cooper was offered the role. Apparently, Warner Bros. has yet to find an actor to replace Cooper, but with Soderbergh wanting to begin shooting U.N.C.L.E. in February, it's likely an announcement will be forthcoming.