In the wake of a series of controversies surrounding popular YouTuber Logan Paul, MGM has removed Rachel Lee Goldenberg's Valley Girl remake from its release schedule. An update of the 1983 rom-com starring Deborah Foreman as the titular Valley girl and Nicolas Cage as the punk-rocker whom she falls for, Valley Girl features Paul in a supporting role, and was originally supposed to release on June 29th this year.
A former Vine star, Paul is now a hugely popular YouTuber with 16.8 million subscribers, and has been featured in several TV shows and original movies under the YouTube Red banner. He attracted widespread criticism when, on New Year's Eve 2017/2018, he uploaded a video he had filmed in Aokigahara, Japan - a site notorious for the number of people who travel there to commit suicide - which showed the body of a man that Paul and his friends had found hanging from a tree. Paul eventually removed the video, but not before it had been viewed millions of times. Paul went on hiatus for a few weeks, but attracted fresh criticism in February when he uploaded a video of himself shooting a dead rat with a taser. After this video was uploaded, YouTube temporarily halted his ad revenue, citing a "recent pattern of behavior."
TheWrap reports that Valley Girl is no longer on MGM's release schedule, and that its slot has instead been taken by another '80s remake - The Hustle, an update of Frank Oz comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which will star Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson in the lead roles. TheWrap says that an MGM rep had no comment on the reason for Valley Girl being removed from the schedule, nor did they offer any insight into when the movie might get a new date.
Valley Girl director Rachel Goldenberg has previously directed several episodes of TV shows like Teachers and Man Seeking Woman, and a handful of Lifetime movies - including the Lifetime parody A Deadly Adoption with Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell. Valley Girl's cast also includes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Chloe Bennet, Riverdale's Ashleigh Murray, and Mae Whitman (The DUFF). Aside from a handful of candid set photos, we've yet to get a proper look at the remake.
While it's not confirmed that Paul's recent behavior is the reason for the movie's delay, it seems like the most obvious explanation. The suicide video attracted a great deal of outrage and disgust, including reactions from celebrities, and the YouTube star has done little to redeem his image since then. Depending on how instrumental his role is, it may be possible to reshoot the movie to cut him out of it entirely (similar to how Kevin Spacey was recast in Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World) - or, perhaps more likely, MGM will simply forego a theatrical release and send Valley Girl straight to VOD.
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