Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Casting: Leslie Mann in for Aniston on “The Comedian,” Josh Gad in “Marshall”


Exclusive: Leslie Mann is stepping into Taylor Hackford’s “The Comedian.” Mann replaces Jennifer Aniston, starring opposite Robert DeNiro. The best comic in the business, Jeff Ross, wrote the screenplay. Art Linson is producing. When I announced that Aniston was leaving, her fans wrote in like crazy about who’s to blame, etc. These things happen all the time. Scheduling, chemistry, karma, who knows. There is no blame. It just ‘is.’ Each are terrific comic actresses.

I told you last week Josh Gad was joining Reginald Hudlin’s “Marshall” opposite Chadwick Boseman. Today it was made official and websites reported it as “exclusive.” Anyway, Josh is actually playing my great uncle, Samuel Friedman, who really tried the Joseph Spell case in Greenwich, Connecticut back in the 1940s with a young Thurgood Marshall as advisor from the NAACP. It’s a great story, I’m glad it’s being made. Gad looks nothing at all like my uncle Sam, but he’s a good actor and I look forward to seeing Hudlin having a success with this.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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