×

There’s been a curious development regarding the Spyglass-financed remake of “Bunny Lake Is Missing”: Reese Witherspoon is missing. And she’s the picture’s star and producer.

Five weeks before production was skedded to begin, Witherspoon abruptly dropped out of the film, much to the chagrin of director Joe Carnahan. Beyond the late notice, the exit is surprising because Witherspoon and Type A Films partner Jennifer Simpson were aboard to produce with Mark Gordon.

Spyglass is scrambling to find an actress to replace Witherspoon, but chances are the start date will have to be pushed. Witherspoon’s exit may have already caused casualties. Sources said Carnahan has discharged Evelyn O’Neill, who had the misfortune of being the manager of both an angry director and the ankling star of his film, though both parties late Wednesday night denied that they’d split.

Project has been in the works for three years. Scripted by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright, pic is based on the 1965 Otto Preminger film about a woman who reports that her daughter Bunny Lake is missing — only to be confronted by charges that she never existed. Columbia will distribute.

“Bunny Lake” is battling a ticking clock. Carnahan committed to helm the remake before he directs “White Jazz,” an adaptation of the James Ellroy book that was scripted by the director’s brother, Matthew Michael Carnahan. George Clooney will star and produce with partner Grant Heslov.

Witherspoon recently left Endeavor to sign with CAA. She just finished the Gavin Hood-directed New Line drama “Rendition.”