Hollywood Movies

The O.J. Simpson Movie That Owen Wilson Won’t Be Starring In

April 24, 20245 Mins Read

A New O.J. Movie Stars the Controversial Charlotte Kirk (But Definitely Not Owen Wilson)

Hey, Hollywood, anybody interested in a partially finished film about how O.J. Simpson might have been innocent? One that stars Charlotte Kirk — the English actress best known for her previous role in taking down moguls Kevin Tsujihara and Ron Meyer in a 2019 sex scandal — as Nicole Brown Simpson? If yes, this is your lucky day. According to British director Joshua Newton, about 30 minutes of The Juice (originally titled Nicole and O.J.) is in the can, mostly flashback scenes featuring Kirk and German-born actor Boris Kodjoe, currently on ABC’s Station 19, who plays the late NFL star turned acquitted murderer. Newton, who has been working on this “satirical thriller” since 2015, says the picture’s main plotline involves a real-life attorney named Douglas McCann who got sucked into various conspiracy theories during Simpson’s 1995 criminal trial. Finding the right actor for that part, he notes, has been one of the major hurdles holding back the film’s completion. “Owen Wilson was perfect for the role,” Newton tells Rambling Reporter. “I actually had a meeting with him in Santa Monica. Everybody loved the script. His agent wanted him to do it. We offered him $12 million. But at the end of the lunch, Owen stood up and said, ‘If you think I’m going to take the lead role in a movie about how O.J. didn’t do it, you’ve got to be kidding me.’ ” Newton says he’s finally found another “spot on” actor for the part, though he won’t yet reveal who that might be. He’s hoping to complete the movie by Oct. 3, the 29th anniversary of Simpson’s not-guilty verdict.

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When Harry Met Jaclyn

Talent agents find talent in the oddest places. For instance, back when he was getting started in the business in the early ’70s, veteran 15-percenter Harry Abrams — who has a freshly published memoir, Let’s Do Launch, in bookstores — was picnicking with his wife and three young kids in Central Park when he stumbled on a stunning young brunette doing pirouettes in the grass. “My 3-year-old wandered over to her, and I had to go rescue her from him,” he tells THR. “We started talking, and it turned out she was in town auditioning for the New York City Ballet. She had a Southern accent so thick, you could cut it with a knife. But I was struck by her natural beauty, so I gave her my card and told her to call me if she didn’t get into the ballet.” Jaclyn Smith didn’t get in, did call, and next thing you know she’s one of the original Charlie’s Angels. Abrams has a zillion of these stories, but you’ll have to buy his book to learn about the ones involving Liam Neeson, Jennifer Lopez, Katie Holmes, Jason Alexander and William H. Macy.

Santa Monica Makes It So

Science-fiction fans and divorced dads looking for somewhere to drag the kids on weekends can soon set a course for Santa Monica. The old Sears building between the Promenade and the Pier will reopen May 27 as Sci-Fi World: The Experience, a geek-palooza featuring props and replicas from Star Wars, Marvel, DC Films, The Terminator, The Lord of the Rings (not sci-fi, but OK) and Doctor Who, among other franchises. Along with a 35-foot Millennium Falcon bounce house, there will be not one but two selfie-friendly Star Trek sets; a reproduction of the 1960s Enterprise bridge and a Next Generation version. At press time, Sci-Fi World also was hoping to reconstruct the 10 Forward set from Paramount+’s Picard, but that’s being negotiated. “The chairs and tables are owned by someone and in storage,” a spokesperson says. “We’re trying to obtain them.” — JORDAN HOFFMAN

Cate Blanchett, Armed and Dangerous

Sure, she’s one of cinema’s most lauded thespians, an eight-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner. But, according to horror maestro Eli Roth, you haven’t really seen Cate Blanchett act until you’ve watched her brandish a flamethrower. “She’s obviously brilliant,” says the director, who first worked with Blanchett in 2018’s The House With a Clock in Its Walls and more recently shot her as an intergalactic bounty hunter in his video game adaptation Borderlands. “But I was like, ‘Cate, let me throw a hundred stunt guns at you and have you fight all these people and run up on all these boxes and flip around and jump down.’ I threw crazy stuff at her. She’s in this snakeskin suit twirling guns. I gave her a flamethrower. She has an amazing stunt team, but when you see her twirling guns, doing fights and using the flamethrower, that’s her. She’s incredible.” — CHRIS GARDNER

This story first appeared in the April 24 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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