Rachel Weisz Quietly Exits Cronenberg’s ‘Maps To The Stars’

Rachel Weisz has left the cast of David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars.

In November last year, it was announced that the actress was joining the Canadian helmer’s six-year labor-of-love to co-star with Robert Pattinson and Viggo Mortensen. But for reasons that may or may not be to do with scheduling, Weisz is no longer on board and has been making her departure known during press rounds for Oz: The Great and Powerful.

Weisz’s exit is just the latest twist in Maps to the Stars’ meandering journey to screen. Back in January, Cronenberg revealed his long time collaborator Viggo Mortensen — who was always tentative — might not be able to sign on. But that isn’t a firm “no.”

The man behind cinematic gems such as A History of Violence, eXistenZ, The Dead Zone, Dead Ringers, Spider, and latterly Cosmopolis has spoken of the difficulties of getting Indie projects to take flight before. In May 2012, while promoting his latest film Cosmopolis, which also stars Pattinson, the 69-year-old said of Maps to the Stars:

“It’s not a go picture. We have a script that I love that Bruce [Wagner] wrote. It’s a very difficult film to get made as was Cosmopolis actually. Whether I can get this movie to happen, I tried it five years ago, I couldn’t get it made, so I still might not be able to get it made.”

Since then, both Pattinson and Cronenberg have talked about their hopes for getting the film off the ground, with the director reiterating why he wanted to work with the Brit actor again.

“I really think he’s a terrific actor. He’s extremely inventive. He surprised me every day on Cosmopolis with the nuances and things that he did which were unexpected. Of course I was very familiar with the dialogue and yet he would surprise me. And I thought, this is a guy who I would like to work with some more.”

Nutshelled, the plot arcs two film industry ex-child stars who become “ruined by Hollywood’s depravity.” [More details here.]

With a script penned by veteran producer-screenwriter Bruce Wagner (State of the Union, White Dwarf) and Saïd Ben Saïd (Carnage, Passion, Far), Martin Katz, and German Integral Films producing, back in November it was reported that production start plans were slated for May on a budget of $15 million.

With Weisz now gone, it’s unclear whether that commencement date still holds.

Although none of the three leads were ever formally signed on to Maps, it does seem as though Pattinson is along for the ride although he has a full film year ahead.

Currently filming in the South Australian desert with Guy Pearce and Scoot McNairy in David Michod’s sweltering, criminal thriller The Rover, the Brit’s next films run the gamut of psycho-military espionage in Mission: Blacklist; a femme fatale and murder in Hold On To Me, Imperial history in Queen of the Desert, and Maps — when, and if, it happens.

Cronenberg also recently joined Luca Guadagnino’s adaptation of Don DeLillo’s novel The Body Artist, in an acting role. Co-starring Isabelle Huppert and Denis Lavant, the production shoots this summer.

As for Weisz, the actress is getting great reviews in Oz, and is next slated to be starring opposite husband, Daniel Craig in a Broadway play later this year.