Ok, so I know everyone and his grandmother by now knows that Ryan Gosling has been replaced by Mark Wahlberg in Peter Jackson's upcoming The Lovely Bones . The film is an adaptation of Alice Sebold bestseller of the same name, which centers around a girl named Susie Salmon, who's murdered in the first chapter of the novel. She spends the rest of the novel observing her family, friends, and killer from the afterlife. Gosling was slated to play her father. Rachel Weisz plays the young girl's mother, Susan Sarandon her grandmother and Stanley Tucci her killer.
By all accounts Gosling was fairly gung-ho about this project, even gaining 20 pounds and growing a beard for his role as a middle aged suburbanite. For some reason, a day before shooting was to begin, Gosling bowed out, due to the oft -cited “creative differences”.
I think Gosling is a terrific performer. He was terrific in Half Nelson, and by all accounts is similarly good in Lars and the Real Girl .
That said, the twenty six year old Gosling is too young for the role- no matter how cool his beard is, and how much weight he gains. Wahlberg is about ten years older, so he's closer in age to the character from the novel.
This role is going to be a HUGE stretch for Wahlberg, who usually plays tough guys. Also worth noting is that he's spent the last few months training for The Fighter, a boxing film he's doing with Brad Pitt for Darren Aronofsky. That film is slated to roll right after he finishes The Lovely Bones . As a result, the already muscular Wahlberg is probably in better shape than ever, which is a bit unlikely for a grieving middle aged father.
However, Wahlberg is an excellent performer, and I'm sure he'll be convincing in the role. Jackson must have cast him for a reason, so I have complete faith in his casting.