Well, this has been a pretty weird year for Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. The director broke hot out of Sundance with “Me And Earl And The Dying Girl,” where it won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury prize. But by the time that the summer release date had rolled out, the buzz had quieted down significantly, with the movie earning a paltry $6.7 million at the box office. Still, the filmmaker made a name for himself and lined up a hot project, “Collateral Beauty,” with Hugh Jackman and Rooney Mara slated to star. But scheduling soon forced out Jackman, who was replaced by Will Smith. But then Mara bailed on the project in September, with cameras gearing up to roll this month. It now looks like the movie is now in serious trouble.
Deadline reports that Gomez-Rejon himself has exited the movie over —say it all together, class— “creative differences.” Penned by Allan Loeb, the tale follows a New York City ad executive who slips into depression following a tragedy and embarks on an unconventional method to recover. There’s no word yet on what exactly the clash was on the vision of the movie, but at any rate, it seems problems might have insurmountable, since no replacement for Mara has been found nearly a month after she left.
Whether or not New Line tries to salvage the situation and find a director to keep the production on track remains to be seen, but my guess is that they’ll probably scrap this version and start over at some point.