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It seemed like everything was going swimmingly for Steven Soderbergh's The Side Effects yesterday. It was reported that Catherine Zeta-Jones had signed on for the film - her third project with the director - and would be joining Blake Lively, Jude Law and Channing Tatum. Now, however, the project has hit a roadblock. Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures has apparently decided that they will not be financing the film after all. The original story regarding Ellison's pull out was posted on Variety, but now The Playlist has received some information regarding why the move was made.
According to the site's inside sources, the reason why Annapurna Pictures will no longer be investing in The Side Effects is because Blake Lively is set to star. While the story doesn't go into details about why the company isn't too fond of Lively, it does say that other actresses are already being considered, including Rooney Mara, Michelle Williams, Emily Blunt and Imogen Poots. Fortunately it doesn't look like the project will be too hurt by the events, as foreign sales are a done deal and insiders say that they should be able to find financing "shortly."
Apparently this isn't the first time that this project has run into casting vs. financing issues. Reports say that both Summit and Paramount - who were interested in the film prior to Annapurna stepping up - also had to negotiate with Soderbergh to try and find the right star. Variety says that a new financier could bring about a complete cast shake-up. The movie is still on track to start production in New York this April.
If this story is true, it would seem that Annapurna Pictures doesn't have faith that a Blake Lively-led movie will be able to make back their investment. Do you think that's true? Would you go see a movie with Blake Lively in the lead?