Rooney Mara Replaces Blake Lively in Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects
01.30.12 by Ryan
Earlier this month, director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Contagion) put together the cast for his penultimate movie, Side Effects with Blake Lively, Channing Tatum, and Jude Law. But news out today indicates there has already been a change, with Rooney Mara replacing Lively as the lead in the movie.
Deadline reports that Mara, fresh from an Academy Award nomination for her work in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, is set to play Emily Hawkins, an unsettled young woman who turns to prescription drugs to deal with the pending release of her husband (Tatum) from prison. Law will play her new psychiatrist who strikes up a relationship with Emily, while Catherine Zeta-Jones will play another of Emily's doctors.
The Deadline report offers no explanation for why Lively was replaced, but, reportedly, financier Annapurna Pictures, headed by Megan Ellison, didn't like the casting of Lively. Last week, Variety reported that Annapurna had decided to walk away from the project, a move that The Playlist insists was due to Lively's casting. Citing a "well-placed" source, the Playlist report claimed that, even though other financing was sure to "locked shortly," the "big question is whether or not Lively will stick around." Looks like we all know the answer, but whether it encourages Annapurna to open up its check book again is unknown.
Written by frequent Soderbergh collaborator Scott Z. Burns (The Informant!, Contagion), Open Road is still in place to distribute Side Effects domestically. Shooting is expected to commence in April. Once finished, Soderbergh will move on to his Liberace biopic, titled Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, Liberace's lover. At that point, Soderbergh plans to take a "sabbatical" from making movies. "I need to tear it all down and start again," Soderbergh admitted recently.