One day before shooting was set to begin on Peter Jackson’s drama “The Lovely Bones”, actor Ryan Gosling, who had packed on twenty pounds and beard for the lead role, left the project over “creative differences”, which basically means he wanted to do something that Jackson wouldn’t allow him, or vice versa. In any case, Jackson wasn’t sitting on his laurels, he’s already swapped Gosling with Mark Wahlberg as his leading man. Wahlberg will join Rachel Weisz, who will be playing his wife, and newcomer Saoirse Ronan in what promises to be a pretty heavy duty flick from an emotional point of view.
Wahlberg has taken the role of Jack Salmon, the grieving father of a young girl. That role was vacated Friday by “Lars and the Real Girl” star Ryan Gosling, who stepped out after gaining 20 pounds and growing a beard for the job. Sources attributed the exit to creative differences.
After reading the script, Wahlberg quickly committed Sunday. He joins Rachel Weisz as a couple whose world is shattered after their daughter is murdered. The girl watches over her family and her killer from heaven. Jackson wrote the script with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.
The film begins shooting today in Pennsylvania, where Wahlberg most recently wrapped the lead in the M. Night Shyamalan-directed “The Happening” for Fox. It is Wahlberg’s first time working with Jackson, though the filmmaker did an on-screen stint last season on “Entourage,” the HBO comedy series Wahlberg exec produces.
You know, if I gained 20 pounds for a movie, I wouldn’t leave. You know how hard it’s going to be to lose those pounds again?