After much speculation on gossip blogs this past week (props, y’all!), Collider has confirmed that Josh Duhamel is in talks to replace Armie Hammer in the Jennifer Lopez movie Shotgun Wedding.
Lionsgate‘s action comedy follows a couple who gather their families for a destination wedding, even as they start to get cold feet. If that wasn’t enough, the entire party then gets taken hostage. Duhamel is making a deal to play the groom after Hammer bowed out to stay close to his children in the wake of a social media controversy that has disrupted the actor’s personal life.
Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) is directing from a script by Liz Meriwether (New Girl) and Mark Hammer (Two Night Stand), and Mandeville‘s Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman are producing with Lopez and her longtime partners Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina. Production is expected to stay on track for a February start date.
Duhamel is best known for his starring turn on the long-running TV series Las Vegas, as well as his appearances in Michael Bay’s Transformers movies. Like Hammer, he’s obviously a very good-looking guy, but the two don’t often find themselves on the same lists, to be perfectly blunt about it. Of course, Shotgun Wedding isn’t some Oscar-bait awards title, it’s a fun, commercial movie, and no matter what, J-Lo is the star of the show — one who no doubt signed off on Duhamel‘s casting. I can certainly see them as a couple, though I imagine Duhamel provided a quick and easy solution to this particular problem, as he doesn’t seem like the type to drag out a negotiation. Oddly enough, for what it’s worth, my brothers and I all enjoyed Duhamel‘s directorial debut Buddy Games, which is just about as dumb as it gets, but was still a good time all the same.
As for Hammer, who knows what happens next. “I’m not responding to these bullshit claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic,” read Hammer‘s Jan. 13 statement. “Lionsgate is supporting me in this, and I’m grateful to them for that.”
Indeed, Lionsgate issued its own public statement saying “we support him in his decision” to step away from the film for the sake of his family, but who knows how the studio really feels. After all, Hammer kind of left them high and dry… unless his departure was the studio’s idea. Either way, Hammer‘s recasting is the immediate cost of his steamy scandal. He’s supposed to star in the Paramount+ series The Offer, about the making of The Godfather, and it’ll be interesting to see if the new streaming service still plans to launch around that event series. I mean, now it’s even more of an “event,” right?