Norton splits from State of Play, Affleck in talks to replace
By M&C Movie News Dec 19, 2007, 12:15 GMT
Edward Norton -New York City, NY, USA © J. Bailey / PR Photos
Edward Norton has left Universal Picture’s State of Play, and the studio in talks for Ben Affleck to replace him. Norton’s departure adds more trouble for the film – which lost Brad Pitt just before Thanksgiving. Pitt was replaced by Russell Crowe.
Variety reports Norton’s exit was due to a schedule conflict which was the result of the film’s production start date being changed. The change was caused by Pitt’s departure and the studio’s scramble to get Crowe. Norton is set to take on dual roles for writer/director Tim Blake’s Leaves of Grass - an independent comedy Norton is producing through his Class 5 Films.
If he signs on for State of Play, Affleck would step into the role of a fast-rising politician who finds himself wrapped up in a murder conspiracy. Crowe has signed to play the journalist investigating the killing who begins a romance with the politician’s wife.
The film is still set to star Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn and Jason Bateman. It is being produced by Andrew Hauptman and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
Mirren could develop schedule conflicts due to her commitment to Taylor Hackford’s Love Ranch – which she is set to star in with Joe Pesci.