〉Kristen Wiig drops out, but several others are attached and in talks.
I’m hearing that Kristen Wiig has dropped out THE HEART, but that Sam Rockwell, Alison Janney, Aaron Paul, Alfred Molina, June Squibb, and Catherine O’Hara are all attached to star, with Samuel L. Jackson and Paul Giamatti in talks.
Formally known as The Total Eclipse of My Heart, the project was written by The Way, Way Back co-writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who previously won an Oscar for co-writing The Descendants with director Alexander Payne. Faxon and Rash are also teaming up to direct the picture.
The action/comedy centers on an indebted black market organ courier who recruits a down-on-her-luck woman to help him deliver one last heart in an effort to finally clear his ledger.
Rockwell, Janney and Wiig were all announced to be involved with the project back in 2014. Although the reason for Wiig’s departure hasn’t been announced, offers are already out to replace her. I’m hearing that Charlize Theron is the frontrunner and has already been offered the part of Lucy, a cash-strapped woman living a miserable existence of refilling arcade claw game prizes in order to afford the house payments for her Grandmother’s house.
Rockwell is set to star as Joe, the black market organ courier and former EMT who is the key provider for his young son. Janney will star as Dawn, Lucy’s boss, while Oscar nominee Squibb will play Lucy’s grandmother. O’Hara will portray Janice, Lucy’s loud, self-obsessed Aunt who is trying to take the house. Paul is attached to play Marcus, a “powder-keg” of a man with an explosive temperament, whom Joe reports to. Molina is set to play Gordy, the CEO of a Denny’s-like restaurant chain that is seeking a new heart.
Jackson is in discussions to play Remmy, Joe’s ruthless boss in an illicit organ courier service, while Giamatti is in talks to play the brother of Molina’s character, who is intent on intercepting the heart delivery in order to ensure the death of his brother and his own rise in the shared company.
The project has had a rocky start, and was rumored to have faced budget concerns last spring, forcing production to either lower the budget or find a new financier. However, Indian Paintbrush will continue to finance the project and produce along with Signal and The Walsh Company. Kevin Walsh and Steven Rales will produce, while Faxon and Rash will serve as executive producers on the picture.
Michael Fassbender was originally loosely attached to star, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and the role went to Rockwell.
Rockwell and Janney also starred in The Way, Way Back. Rockwell most recently appeared in the indie Loitering With Intent and will next appear in MGM’s Poltergeist remake. Janney currently stars on CBS’ Mom and appeared in The Rewrite, Get On Up, Tammy, and The Duff, which is currently in theaters. Next up, she’ll star in Spy, opposite Melissa McCarthy.
Paul, known for his star-making role on AMC’s Breaking Bad, appeared in 2014’s Exodus: Gods And Kings and Need For Speed, among others. He’ll next star in The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, opposite Jamie Dornan. Paul is repped by UTA and Leverage Management.
Molina most recently appeared in We’ll Never Have Paris and Love Is Strange, opposite John Lithgow. He also starred on El Rey’s series Matador and lent his voice in Disney’s Strange Magic. Up next, the veteran actor will appear in Paint It Black and lend his voice to Universal’s Sian Ka’an. Molin is repped by WME and Hyler Management.
Recently, O’Hara starred in A.C.O.D. and voiced multiple characters in Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie. She’ll next continue vocal work with the animated children’s comedy Cat Tale. She’s repped by ICM and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Squibb made waves with her Oscar-nominated turn in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. She’ll next star in The Most Wonderful Time. Squibb is repped by BRS/Gage Talent Agency.
Jackson recently starred in Robocop and Captain America: The Winter Solider. He can now be seen in the awesome Kingsman: The Secret Service, which is currently in theaters. Up next, he’ll appear in this summer’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron. He’s repped by ICM and Anonymous Content.
Giamatti starred in 2014’s Love & Mercy, The Congress, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This year, He’ll appear in Straight Outta Compton and San Andreas, opposite Dwayne Johnson. UTA and Kipperman Management rep him.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor