You can't throw a stone this movie awards season without hitting something that belongs to La La Land. The musical homage to Golden Age Hollywood is cleaning up at just about every major awards show, and unless there's some sort of cosmic intervention, the film is practically guaranteed Best Picture at the Oscars later this month. It's a smash hit that people love, but now some gossip is stirring -- not over anything that presently matters, but with what could have been. Originally Emma Watson was supposed to play the female lead in La La Land, and now new reports are saying that the star didn't get the role because she was too demanding.
In the early stages of development, Emma Watson and Miles Teller were originally going to play the lead lovers and dreamers of La La Land. Obviously that didn't happen and Watson's role went to an Emma of the Stone variety (Emma Stone to be exact) and Ryan Gosling soon replaced Teller. Why did this happen? According to Page Six, multiple insider sources have told the outlet that Watson and Teller left the project after being too difficult. In Watson's case, that mostly boiled down to being unsure about making a commitment.
Keep in mind that this could be fairly overblown, and who's to say what defines a "crazy" demand? What we DO know is that Watson was also offered the lead as Belle in _Beauty and the Beast ___around the same time, so you can see where the _Harry Potter_ actress had to make a decision. Given the option between doing a Disney musical or a relatively risky lower key film (La La Land was by no means an obvious slam dunk at that stage), we can see why she made the decision she did.
On the Miles Teller side of things, his issues mostly resulted from wanting more money to do the film. It's reported that he was offered $4 million but wanted six. Thanks to an interview from 2015, we know that Teller ended up being dropped by Damien Chazelle, who felt that he was no longer "creatively right for the project." Watson has yet to respond to Page Six's story, but Teller denied it on Twitter.
Now, is there a chance that news about actors doing something that happens a thousand times being blown out of proportion because La La Land is such a huge hit? I would say so, and for Watson, this really boils down to choosing between one musical or the other. We won't really be able to judge how good of a decision she made until Beauty and the Beast hits theaters, but it feels like everything has worked out for the best...for all of us at least. La La Land lives and dies on the easy chemistry between Stone and Gosling, and it's harder to imagine how a more experimental pair like Watson and Teller would have done.
But Emma Watson shouldn't fret, not because La La Land is overrated (that's right! I said it!), but because she was able to be in a Disney movie, that by all accounts looks like another hit for the Mouse House. Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 17.