Studios scrambling as actor recovers
Owen Wilson’s emergency hospitalization and recovery are throwing a major monkeywrench into production of two movies and causing marketing headaches for two more.
The Sunday incident, which several news services claimed was a suicide attempt, is also the latest — after Lindsay Lohan’s summer troubles — to pose the question of insurability for top-tier stars.
Wilson, who was taken by ambulance to to St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica and is now being treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for undisclosed reasons, was to begin shooting a starring role in the Ben Stiller-helmed comedy “Tropic Thunder” in the coming weeks. Lensing for the DreamWorks film — which also stars Bill Hader, Stiller and Jack Black — is under way in Hawaii.
DreamWorks, which will release the pic next summer, issued a one-sentence statement that said, “Filming on ‘Tropic Thunder’ continues.” The studio, however, would not elaborate on whether Wilson is expected on the set or if his role would instead be recast. Studio prexy Stacey Snider is on vacation this week.
Wilson, one of Hollywood’s highest-earning funnymen, also is on board to film the 20th Century Fox comedy “Marley & Me,” opposite Jennifer Aniston. That film was tentatively scheduled to begin production in January. When asked if production on “Marley & Me” would be affected, a Fox spokesman said, “It’s a totally inappropriate question at this time when all of our thoughts and concerns are with his health and well being.”
Marketing-wise, the actor next appears in Wes Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited,” which Fox Searchlight will release Sept. 28, creating a conundrum for the specialty label.
And Paramount, which will release the Wilson starrer “Drillbit Taylor” in March, faces an even bigger problem because of the Judd Apatow-produced film’s young-male demographic.
In recent years, the “Wedding Crashers” star and Oscar-nominated writer has become one of the most in-demand comic actors. UTA, which reps Wilson, deflected queries to the actor’s publicist, Ina Treciokas.
Wilson’s camp declined comment on the status of the actor’s upcoming projects. Treciokas, instead, issued the following statement from the actor, “I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time.”