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Bruce Willis has indeed left the cast of Woody Allen’s upcoming film, but not for the reasons that we initially thought. While early reports indicated that Willis departed from the project as a result of scheduling conflicts with his participation in an adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery on Broadway, it has now come to light that director Woody Allen may have in fact fired the Die Hard star.
According to Hitfix, this news comes based off a Twitter excange between The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider and Tom O'Leary, which indicates Willis experienced immense difficulty delivering his lines. This trouble impeded production and caused excess stress on cast and crew members.
A representative for Woody Allen spoke out, stating that Willis’ character has in fact been recast – according to Deadline, comic actor Steve Carell has taken over the role – and production will not slow down as a result of this development.
This wouldn’t be the first time that filmmakers have had trouble working with Bruce Willis – the actor has an antagonistic history with several former collaborators. Dating all the way back to his early career work on Moonlighting, Willis has had tumultuous relationships with numerous colleagues in Hollywood. These range from actress Cybill Shepherd to directors Michael Bay and Kevin Smith. In his memoir, Smith went so far as to state that Willis’ behavior ruined all perceptions Smith had of the iconic actor from his youth.
Most recently, a dispute between Willis and Sylvester Stallone grabbed headlines when Stallone replaced Willis with Harrison Ford on the action ensemble The Expendables 3. When questioned on the matter, Stallone cited Willis’ greed as a driving force behind the parting of ways.
That being said, Willis does have his share of allies in Hollywood. He notably championed M. Night Shyamalan when the director’s career was still in it’s adolescence, and the two could potentially reunite at some point in the near future for a new collaboration.
Most of the details surrounding the now Willis-free Woody Allen project remain closely guarded, but we know it stars Blake Lively, Parker Posey, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and now Steve Carell. After this, most certainly with a free schedule, Willis will debut in Misery on October 22 of this year.