Owen Wilson Drops Out of Upcoming Comedy Film `Tropic Thunder' after Reported Suicide Bid
August 29, 2007 at 2:26 PM EST - Updated July 26 at 8:01 AM
LOS ANGELES (AP) -
UPDATED Owen Wilson, hospitalized after an apparent suicide attempt, has dropped out of the upcoming ensemble comedy "Tropic Thunder," film industry trade papers reported Wednesday.
Wilson will not appear in the DreamWorks movie, already six weeks into production in Hawaii, Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter said, citing sources they didn't identify.
The decision was characterized as a mutual agreement between director Ben Stiller and the 38-year-old actor, who was taken to the hospital Sunday after police responded to the report of a suicide attempt at his Santa Monica home.
The Hollywood Reporter said Wilson had a minor part in the movie, which stars Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. and revolves around a group of actors who find themselves in the middle of a war.
Wilson's part was to be filmed in just a week, the trade paper said.
Messages left early Wednesday for a DreamWorks representative and Wilson publicist Ina Treciokas seeking comment weren't immediately returned.
Treciokas declined to answer questions Tuesday about whether Wilson attempted to commit suicide.
Many Hollywood insiders believe Wilson's setback will be short-lived and that he will continue to enjoy big-screen success.
"Most people are confused by this, but as a recovering addict myself it gives me hope that this is his bottom and he can turn it around. He really is a good guy," friend Tom Arnold told theinsideronline.com.
"He's loved," Bernie Brillstein, a veteran Hollywood manager who worked with John Belushi and Chris Farley, said Tuesday.
Brillstein said the reported suicide attempt is "serious, but it's a singular case. Anyone can have a bad day, a very bad day."
Wilson's box-office track record - "Wedding Crashers" topped $200 million, "Cars" brought in almost $250 million - plus his on-screen image as an affable everyman who can charm the ladies while boozing with the boys has made him a favorite with both filmmakers and filmgoers.
Wilson's public perception is "very positive," industry analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Media By Numbers said Tuesday. "Owen Wilson has a really good reputation and people in general really feel bad for him right now."
Fox Searchlight had no comment Tuesday about "The Darjeeling Limited," which stars Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman. The film is scheduled for release Sept. 29.
Wilson's next starring vehicle, Paramount's "Drillbit Taylor," is set for a March release, a studio spokeswoman said, declining further comment.
A spokesman for 20th Century Fox declined to discuss Wilson's scheduled appearance opposite Jennifer Aniston in the upcoming "Marley & Me."
"It's an inappropriate question to ask," he said. "All our thoughts and concerns are with his health and well-being. Owen asked his privacy be respected and we intend to honor that."
Wilson's emotional issues could have "a deep impact on his future employability and the ability to obtain insurance," said longtime publicist Michael Levine.
But Brillstein said the problem lies in media coverage and the public's taste for ever more sensational celebrity news.
"There is no boundary," he said. "This (kind of thing) has happened for years but the press was never so vigilant in reporting bad news."