Jennifer Garner: Glenn Weiner/ZUMA Press/Newscom
Brian Hiatt
May 02, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Need proof of Jennifer Garner’s leading-lady status? She’s now big enough to step into Gwyneth’s shoes. Garner will replace Paltrow alongside Lisa Kudrow in the upcoming indie comedy ”Happy Endings,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Paltrow left the project in order to take more time to mourn the recent death of her father, Bruce Paltrow, the trade paper reports. The movie, directed by Don Roos (”Bounce”), tells three interrelated stories set in Los Angeles; Garner will play a woman involved with both a father and his son.

Garner and Paltrow aren’t the only stars playing musical chairs. Joan and John Cusack have both left the Nicole Kidman-starring remake ”The Stepford Wives,” according to Variety. Matthew Broderick is negotiating to replace John, while Bette Midler is set to replace Joan. The Cusacks are leaving because of a personal issue (presumably family-related), according to the trade paper. Broderick and Midler would join a cast that also includes Faith Hill, Glenn Close, and Christopher Walken. Though we’re pretty sure Walken isn’t playing one of the wives.

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