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Jennifer Lopez’s Shotgun Wedding has found a new groom.
A week after Armie Hammer’s exit from the Lionsgate romantic action comedy, Josh Duhamel has been chosen as his replacement. Duhamel, who appeared in the Michael Bay Transformers movies, is now in negotiations.
Jason Moore, who directed Pitch Perfect, is helming Shotgun Wedding, which has a script by New Girl creator Liz Meriwether and Mark Hammer. It tells of a couple that gathers their families for a destination wedding even as they get cold feet. If that wasn’t enough, the entire party then gets taken hostage.
Hammer and Lopez have been attached since fall 2020 when the project was announced at the American Film Market. The two were headed for a shoot in the Dominican Republic when salacious DM’s rumored to be attributed to the Rebecca star surfaced on social media and detailed those film plans.
“I’m not responding to these bullshit claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic,” Hammer announced in a statement Jan. 13. “Lionsgate is supporting me in this, and I’m grateful to them for that.”
Earlier that day, a Lionsgate spokesperson stated: “Given the imminent start date of Shotgun Wedding, Armie has requested to step away from the film, and we support him in his decision.”
A search began immediately for Hammer’s replacement – Lopez is said to have had a say in the process – with Duhamel’s name surfacing early on.
Duhamel, repped by ICM Partners and John Carabino Management, starred in the long-running 2000s drama Las Vegas while also popping up to fight giant robots in disguise in the blockbuster Transformers movies. Wedding is a boost for Duhamel who in recent years has taken leads in indie such as The Lost Husband and Think Like a Dog. He next stars in Netflix’s big swing, Jupiter’s Legacy, the adaptation of the Mark Millar-written comic, which is due later this year.
If a deal makes, Wedding will likely keep its February start date.
Mandeville’s Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman, who produced Lionsgate’s hit film Wonder, are producing along with Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina.
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