Hugh Jackman Leaves Drama ‘Collateral Beauty’

Hugh Jackman
Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Hugh Jackman has dropped out of the drama “Collateral Beauty” a month after the project was unveiled by Palmstar Media.

Producers have indicated that they hope to replace Jackman with Johnny Depp, but no negotiations are taking place. Jackman exited due to commitments for a yet-to-be-titled Wolverine project for Fox, which has a release date of March 3, 2017.

Rooney Mara remains attached to the project. Palmstar and Likely Story announced they had acquired the rights to Allan Loeb’s script for “Collateral Beauty” in mid-June. PalmStar will be fully financing in conjunction with its partner Merced Capital.

“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” helmer Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will direct. Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar and Bard Darros are producing along with Loeb. Palmstar CEO Kevin Frakes and Anthony Bregman will exec produce.

The story follows a New York advertising executive who experiences a deep personal tragedy. When his colleagues devise an unconventional plan to break him out of his depression, the plan works, but not in a way that anyone imagined.

CAA and Anonymous began selling the project at Cannes in May.

News of Jackman’s exit was first reported by Deadline.com.

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  1. Ruth Ayres says:

    I believe that Hugh Jackman was first choice precisely because of what he demonstrated in Prisoners. Very similar emotion required in this script (I know something about the script). Johnny Depp could certainly also do a great job but not sure about him and Rooney Mara, although not sure which of the female leads she’s assigned to play. If they could start from scratch it would be a slam dunk for Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Mr. Depp is superb but maybe just a touch too old for the part. But then, who knows. I would love to see him score big so there’s my two cents.

  2. Jane says:

    Johnny Depp would be great and better than Hugh Jackman.

    • tresa4love says:

      Considering I highly doubt you have seen the screen play, I don’t think you are qualified to say that.

  3. David Marcum says:

    Trading Hugh Jackman for Johnny Depp is really another way of saying “We don’t want a good box office turnout.” Are there no star power actors out there to replace Jackman. This sounds like a project that is perfectly in Will Smith’s wheelhouse.

    • Tom says:

      No, Trading Hugh Jackman for Johnny Depp makes perfect sense. Depp is a much better actors than Jackman will ever be. He is a REAL actor. Depp is still one of the biggest movie stars on the planet and a box office draw, his recent films didn’t do well for a lot of reasons but they only made money because of him, which proves his star power. Will Smith? Are you kidding me? If Depp is not a “star power” actor because he’s had a few flops recently then so is Smith, who’s had a few flops too. If the movie is good, the box office will be good.

      • tresa4love says:

        Tom, I apologize. I realize now that you were replying to Eric and not David. That being said, my opinion is still the same. If you think Jackman was nothing special in Les Miserables and Prisoners, you likely either have a strong bias against Jackman (in a critical sense) or haven’t actually seen those movies. The fact that you are posting how many film awards each has won tells me you probably just googled Jackman or went to his imdb page to try to build an argument against him. Jackman’s career is much shorter than Depp’s at this point. Jackman started acting much later in life and has been in Hollywood for a shorter period of time so your argument is a bit ridiculous. He is also younger than Johnny Depp. Give it time, and he will likely surpass him in awards at the rate he is going unless he stops acting for some reason. Also, objectively speaking, many people actually think Jackman was snubbed of an Oscar nomination for Prisoners (that scene where he sees his daughter’s bloody sock towards the end and chokes up is probably among the most realistic and best acted scenes I have ever seen in recent years from an actor on film), and the amount of emotion he put into Jean Valjean, particularly in the last 20 minutes of the film, surpassed anything I have ever seen from Johnny Depp. Jackman will be in Pan this fall, playing a character Depp is well suited to play.

      • tresa4love says:

        Also, Tom – David Marcum did not mention ANY of Hugh Jackman’s movies in his post, so I find your comment, “He was nothing special in the movies you mentioned” to be quite laughable. LOL. I agree with Eric’s comment as well. And for you to say Jackman is not a “REAL” actor is what is ludicrous. The man started on stage doing Shakespeare (King Lear) and has been nominated for/won awards for Oklahoma!, The Boy From Oz, Les Miserables, etc. It’s ludicrous to say an accomplished stage actor who is excellent in period pieces is not a real actor, lol. Jackman just so happens to be awesome as an action star too, but that doesn’t take away his ability to play almost any type of role. He is just highly underrated as an actor because people are used to thinking of him as an action star. I have no opinion of Will Smith, however, although I did like him in Pursuit of Happyness.

      • tresa4love says:

        Well Tom, while I do think Johnny Depp is a great actor, I am going to side with David Marcum on this one. I actually think Hugh Jackman is slightly better. I have seen Hugh Jackman on stage and he is phenomenal. He has won two Tony Awards, and is just as versatile as Johnny Depp but doesn’t give off the creepy vibe Depp adds to his most of his characters. Hugh Jackman in The Fountain, The Prestige, Prisoners, Real Steel, and Les Miserables is at this point becoming highly underrated by mainstream fans.

      • David Marcum says:

        Johnny Depp is a very good character actor who has leading man looks, which has caused many to confuse him for being a great leading man. His biggest films are always those that have him in a supporting role. He does a wonderful job with a Jack Sparrow type but he’s as bland as milquetoast in a leading man capacity as in “Finding Neverland.” And before you say it, yes I know he was nominated for an Oscar for that film, but that is no reliable gauge for talent or quality, and that nom really made no sense. Depp simply does not have the star turn kind of acting that Hugh Jackman and Will Smith possess. And I stand by the idea that Smith would be ideal in this movie. He spun silk out of maudlin things like “The Pursuit of Happyness.” I don’t know if this script has the potential to be as awkward as that one, but Smith has the star wattage to make you look past such flaws.

      • Tom says:

        @Eric I’m sorry, but Jackman wishes he was better than Depp. Depp has 3 Oscar nominations, Jackman has 1. Depp has won 61 awards, Jackman has won 19 awards. What’s absolute ludicrous is saying that Jackman is “noticeably better” than Depp. He was nothing speical in the movies you mentioned. Have you seen Sweeney Todd, Finding Neverland, Donnie Brasco, Ed Wood? Depp’s cameo in 21 Jump Street MADE the movie.

      • Eric says:

        I’m sorry. I like Depp, and he is a great actor and all, but to say Depp is a much better actor than Jackman is absolute ludicrous. They are both very similar and have very similar ranges. But Jackman is noticeably better. Have you not seen Australia, Les Miserables, Real Steel, or Prisoners? Heck, even his cameo in Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb made that film better lol.

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