EXCLUSIVE: Deadline understands that Hugh Jackman has dropped out of PalmStar’s buzzy title Collateral Beauty and that the producers are now out to sign Johnny Depp. Scheduling is the reason behind Jackman’s exit, with the Australian star’s Wolverine commitments making it impossible for him to shoot Collateral Beauty this year. The deal with Depp still has some way before being set. The project is one of the more competitive ones in the marketplace right now.
PalmStar Media and Likely Story paid $2.25 million for the Allan Loeb script. At the time Jackman and Rooney Mara were attached to star with Me And Earl And The Dying Girl helmer Alfonso Gomez-Rejon making this his follow-up directing effort to the Sundance favorite. Principal photography is set to begin in the fall with PalmStar financing. Mara remains attached along with Jason Segel.
The plot centers on 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.
Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar and Bard Dorros are producing with Loeb. PalmStar CEO Kevin Frakes will executive produce with Likely Story’s Anthony Bregman and Steven Pearl. The two companies have already collaborated on pics including American Ultra, Sing Street and The Whole Truth among others.