James Marsden will replace Paul Walker in the upcoming adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel, The Best Of Me.
Walker died in a car crash on November 30, 2013, and now several other projects that he was attached to have been left in limbo because of his sudden and tragic demise.
Marsden is reportedly “just beginning negotiations” for the part in The Best Of Me, and he’s currently in talks with Relativity surrounding the nitty-gritty details of the deal.
The company “had been quietly looking to recast” Walker, according to Deadline, ever since his death, and it’s believed that Marsden beat Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello to the part.
Reports have suggested that Marsden has already been offered Walker’s role by the film’s director, Michael Hoffman, and he is set to star opposite Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang’s Michelle Monaghan in the romantic drama.
The Best Of Me revolves around two high school sweethearts, Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole, who split up after they graduate and are then reunited twenty-five years later at the funeral of a mutual friend. They soon fall back in love with each other, however they start to fall apart after the tendencies that originally split them up start to pop up again.
Hoffman, who has previously helmed One Fine Day, The Last Station and 2012’s Gambit, will direct J. Mills Goodloe and Will Fetters script, which he also co-wrote himself.
Marsden has previously been seen in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, where he went up against the comedic stylings of Will Ferrell, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, while he also recently starred in The Butler and 2 Guns, too.
English actor Rupert Friend is also set to inherit one of Walker’s roles too. The Homeland actor is set to take the lead role of an assassin in Agent 47, which is a remake of 2007’s Hitman.
Last week it was also revealed that Brian O’Conner, the character that Walker played in the Fast & Furious franchise, will be retired from the film series, but won’t be killed off. It’s also believed that Paul’s younger brother, Cody Walker, will replace his sibling in order to complete filming on the latest installment.
According to The Hollywood Reporter:
“In the weeks after the tragedy, director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum, Universal’s lead executive on the Fast films, pored over the footage Wan had shot.
The trio then devised a plan to tweak the existing script so that Walker would remain a part of the story but could be written out, allowing the franchise to continue without him. The changes will require some additional scenes to be written and shot, but the eight-month delay of release provides plenty of time.”