When does the movie business ever go as planned? Rarely, it seems, as evidenced by the change-ups with the upcoming thriller The Tourist, the remake of the 2005 French film, Anthony Zimmer.

We recently reported that Angelina Jolie had replaced Charlize Theron in the movie, with Jolie joining the already-cast Sam Worthington (who originally replaced Tom Cruise). Then a week later came news that after previously attached director Bharat Nalluri had stepped away from the project, The Lives of Other director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck was being eyed to helm the film instead.

All seemed to be in place and The Tourist was set for an early 2010 shooting start. However, although the latter is still true, there appears to STILL be major change-ups happening, as not only is yet another new director being looked at to now replace Donnersmarck, but Worthington may be getting replaced by Johnny Depp!

Variety is reporting that both Donnersmarck and Worthington have left The Tourist over “creative differences” (isn’t that always the “insert here” reason?). Depp is now in talks to play the titular American tourist who is drawn into a web of intrigue by a female Interpol agent (Jolie) who is attempting to locate a criminal who was once her lover. GK’s Graham King – who’s distributing and financing through his deal with Sony Picture Entertainment – brought Depp into the mix as he has a strong relationship with him after collaborating on Rango and The Rum Diary.

Many people were expecting Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides to be Depp’s next film, which is supposed to start filming next Spring. So where does that leave Captain Jack Sparrow?…

On top of the casting replacement, there’s also the need for a new director. One name that Variety specifically points out is Alfonso Cuaron, the man behind such films as Children of Men and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (my personal favorite Harry Potter, FYI).  He’s not in talks officially, but is “circling” the project along with a few other directors.

I don’t know why there’s been so many change-ups with The Tourist, but if Depp signs on it’s certainly a step-up in terms of star power from Worthington. Even if the latter is a rising star – with Terminator Salvation, the upcoming Avatar and the upcoming Clash of the Titans now on his resume – Depp is a bankable name and him teaming up with Jolie (who you can see in the recent trailer for Salt), one of the hottest  female movie stars in the world, can only draw major attention to the project from people who probably wouldn’t have been interested otherwise.

Hopefully everything gets sorted out with The Tourist for its early 2010 shooting start. We’ll keep you posted on the status of the project.

What do you think of Johnny Depp potentially replacing Sam Worthington as The Tourist? Do you think the team up of Depp and Angelina Jolie will draw in a lot more viewers than her and Worthington would have? Which director would you like to see take on the project?

If all goes to plan, The Tourist will start filming in February 2010, and is set for a release sometime in 2011.

Source: Variety