The action/comedy This Means War has been in the works for a long time now, as far back as 2001. The plot centers on two spies who were friends but go to war with one another when they both fall in love with the same woman.
The project has had Reese Witherspoon attached to star for awhile and Chris Pine (Star Trek) attached himself to one of the lead spy roles a few months ago. The other role was at one point set to be played by Bradley Cooper before he dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and then it was announced that Sam Worthington had stepped into the role. But now we’re hearing word that Worthington’s been replaced by Brit actor Tom Hardy (Inception).
Vulture first reported the news of Hardy replacing Worthington but Variety has now confirmed it. You shouldn’t take this as a sign of trouble between Worthington and This Means War director McG, as at the time of the Aussie actor’s attachment to the project it was said that he would, “sit on the project for awhile and eventually wander off.”
Considering the amount of projects Worthington has on the horizon, it’s no surprise that something like This Means War isn’t at the top of his priority list. The question now is if Hardy is the right man to replace him. We all know he can play darkly funny (see his masterful performance in Bronson) as well as charismatically sarcastic and dry witty (see Inception).
However, This Means War strikes me as a broader action/comedy in the vein of Knight and Day. Those two films also share the characteristics of having big name stars fill the main roles and being directed by guys who have ample experience with action (3:10 To Yuma director James Mangold did Knight and Day). We can only hope This Means War turns out a lot better than Knight and Day.
Hardy is currently filming Mad Max: Fury Road, although the actor recently revealed that production has been delayed on that. He has nothing else upcoming that he hasn’t already finished, so he’ll likely move on to This Means War after Mad Max 4 is done and dusted. Personally I’m really interested to see how he fairs in an action/comedy like this.
This Means War doesn’t have a shooting or release date yet.
Sources: Vulture and Variety