Studios are always concerned that their movies won't have enough star power to attract big audiences, but apparently the opposite is true in the case of Ang Lee's Life of Pi. While Tobey Maguire was previously cast as author Yann Martel in the upcoming adaptation, apparently it's been decided that Maguire is too well known and he has been cut out of the film and the character has been recast.
THR has learned that Maguire has been deemed "too famous among the cast of relative unknowns" and now the role will instead be played by British actor Rafe Spall. While Spall certainly doesn't have anything like "The titular character from Spider-Man" on his record, he does happen to be the son of Timothy Spall and has played significant roles in movies like Ridley Scott's Prometheus and Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz. He recently wrapped production on the romantic comedy I Give It A Year in which he stars alongside Anna Faris, Rose Byrne, Simon Baker, Minnie Driver and Jason Flemyng.
In a statement about the decision, Maguire said, "I fully support Ang's decision to go a different direction for this role in Life of Pi. Ang shared a lot of the film with me, and what I saw was absolutely beautiful." Lee also said in a statement, "To be consistent with the other casting choices made for the film, I decided to go with an entirely international cast. I very much admire Tobey and look forward to working with him again in the future." This is the second piece of bad news that Maguire has gotten recently as it was recently revealed that Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby - in which Maguire plays Nick Carraway - has been bumped from December of this year to a mystery date in the summer of 2013. Basically, he's gone from having two movies competing in this year's award season to zero.
Maguire will next be seen in Jason Reitman's Labor Day. Life of Pi will be in theaters on November 21st and you can read more about it in our Blend Film Database.
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