Paul Mescal replaces Blake Jenner in the decade-spanning production of the film’s musical by Stephen Sondheim‘s We happily roll along, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Richard Linklater will direct the project, which is backed by Blumhouse, and will shoot over a 20-year period. (The director shot his Oscar-winning Childhood over 12 years.)
The much-loved musical, based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, follows Franklin Shepard, a talented composer of Broadway musicals, who gives up his friends and career to become a producer of Hollywood films. The story begins at the height of his Hollywood fame and moves back in time, showing key moments in Frank’s life.
Mescal will star as Broadway composer Franklin Shepard, previously played by Jenner. After being cast, Jenner was embroiled in allegations of domestic abuse.
In November 2019, actress Melissa Benoist wrote a 14-minute post Instagram video where she talked about surviving domestic violence. At the time, Benoist did not name her abuser. In October 2020, Jenner, who was previously married to Benoist, took to social media to apologize for an abusive relationship, writes which he took “full responsibility and accountability for the damage I caused during my relationship with my former partner – emotionally, mentally and yes, physically.” (Jenner, who also filed abuse claims against her ex-partner, also did not name the partner she was referring to in her post.)
Mescal will join a previously announced cast that includes Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt. The project, which was announced four years ago, completed its first segment of filming in August 2019. Ginger Sledge will produce alongside Jason Blum for Blumhouse alongside Jonathan Marc Sherman and Linklater.
Mescal that broke out in the Hulu series Normal peoplewas recently cast in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator successor. He has gained recognition in the last year for his work in Cannes exceptional Aftersun.
Above the line first reported this news.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.