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First the bad news: Jesse Eisenberg and Shia LaBeouf are no longer to attached to star in Arms and the Dudes, the strange, based-on-a-true-story comedy currently in the works from director Todd Phillips. The good news is that the film has already found some awesome replacements for the two stars, as Jonah Hill and Miles Teller are now in negotiations to join the project.
According to both Variety and The Wrap, a delay in the Arms and the Dudes production is what wound up bumping Eisenberg and LaBeouf from the feature, and while that's certainly a bummer, the truth is that Todd Phillips and the folks at Warner Bros. are getting both Jonah Hill and Miles Teller at the peak of their career. In the movie, Hill and Teller will be starring as two 20-something stoner arms dealers -named David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli - who were able to secure a $300 million deal with the Pentagon to supply weapons to allied troops stationed in Afghanistan. Of course, the two are completely out of their depth, and struggle to fulfill their end of the deal (presumably to comic effect). The title of the movie comes from the headline of a Rolling Stone article written by Guy Lawson about the two leads. Phillips has been developing the project ever since he purchased the rights to the story back in 2011 (shortly after the blockbuster success of The Hangover Part II).
Both Jonah Hill and Miles Teller have emerged as some of the best young acting talent currently active in Hollywood, and it's fantastic to hear that they may soon team up. In the past few years Hill has not only earned himself two Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominations - one for Moneyball, one for The Wolf of Wall Street - but he has also continued to prove himself as a comedy leading man with the 21 Jump Street series. And while Teller hasn't started collecting nominations just yet, he has earned an incredible amount of praise for his performances in movies like The Spectacular Now, Whiplash and Rabbit Hole. Having the two actors working alongside Todd Phillips - who has perfectly dark sensibilities for this material and something to prove following the disappointing release of The Hangover Part III last year - and there exists a recipe for a really great film.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances and the completion of deals with Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, the plan is to have cameras rolling on Arms and the Dudes in the spring of 2015. This presumably means that we should see the finished product in theaters at some point in 2016. We have our fingers tightly crossed that it will be able to live up to its extreme potential and then some.