After just a few days of shooting on the sci-fi pic “Lost in Space” in London, New Line Cinema will replace Sean Patrick Flanery with “Friends” star Matt LeBlanc, the studio confirmed Tuesday.
The studio determined that Flanery, who was set to play the young astronaut Don West, was the wrong sensibility and look for the role. He was cast opposite William Hurt, who stars as Dr. John Robinson.
“Sean Patrick Flanery is a professional who understands that his skills as an actor have nothing to do with this casting decision,” said a New Line spokesman. “Once all of the actors were assembled in London, it was decided that the role of Don West required a different look and physical presence. Sean was extremely gracious in allowing us to move forward to locate his replacement.”
Pic is the feature version of the hit 1960s TV series about a family that is lost in space, jetting from planet to planet in hopes of finding their way back to Earth. Gary Oldman, Mimi Rogers and Heather Graham also star in the en-semble project. New Line is banking on the big-budget pic as a potential franchise.
Stephen Hopkins is directing. Producers are Hopkins, Mark Koch and Akiva Goldsman, who also scripted. Exec producers are Robert Rehme and Mace Neufeld.
LeBlanc, who took over last weekend, will be forced to commute between London and L.A. to satisfy the remainder of his “Friends” contract for the year, which stretches through April 11. After that, he will be full-time on “Lost in Space” until it wraps in July.
LeBlanc is best known for his role as Joey Trebbiani on the Emmy-nominated “Friends.” He has also had roles on “Married … With Children,” “TV101” and “Vinny and Bobby.” His only feature credit is “Ed,” for Universal. He recently completed production on “Anything to Survive,” a TV pic.
LeBlanc’s deal was brokered by Adam Isaacs at UTA, along with attorney Geoff Oblath. He is also repped by manager Chuck Binder.