James Caan has departed Fox’s multi-camera/hybrid pilot Fantasy Life following its table read today. Caan was a last-minute addition to the project; he only closed his deal three days ago. Caan had a previous commitment to Sicilian Vampire, a movie written and directed by Frank D’Angelo, which is starting production in Toronto with Paul Sorvino, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen, Daniel Baldwin, Franco Nero and Eric Roberts co-starring. When Caan signed on for Fantasy Life, the two sides believed that the dates for the movie and the pilot would be worked out. That no longer is the case, leading to Caan’s departure. His role is being recast.
Fantasy Life was written by Tim McAuliffe based on the memoir by one of U.S.’ top fantasy sports experts, ESPN’s Matthew Berry. When hard-working Mitch (Kevin Connolly) lands his ultimate dream job hosting a fantasy football show, he’s forced to navigate office politics while becoming the star he never thought he could be. Caan was to play the tough and humorless Chuck, a legendary ex-football player/coach who’s on Mitch’s new team working on Fox’s fantasy football league show. Chuck doesn’t get fantasy football since he played real football and suffered real pain, however, Mitch eventually impresses him, and the former football star is willing to work with him.