Scarlett Johansson is going to play the female in Woody Allen’s next movie; fortunately, the 19-year-old actress is not playing Allen’s love interest. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Johansson is replacing 28-year-old Kate Winslet, who quit the movie on Friday. The American star of ”Lost in Translation” will join an otherwise all-British cast (including Emily Mortimer, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and requisite older man Brian Cox) in the untitled movie, which will shoot in July and August on location in London. Afterward, she’ll shoot ”Mission: Impossible 3” opposite Tom Cruise, who’s only 22 years her senior.
Winslet cited her two toddlers as the reason for dropping out of the film. ”She needs to be around her family,” her spokesperson said in a statement, noting that Allen’s shooting schedule, along with her contractual promotional duties for ”Finding Neverland” (her forthcoming movie with Johnny Depp) would have kept the ”Titanic” actress away from the kids all summer. Winslet’s husband, ”Road to Perdition” director Sam Mendes, will already be away, shooting ”Jarhead,” based on Gulf War veteran Anthony Swofford’s combat memoir.
Allen had made a point of wanting to use British actors in the film, which marks a rare shoot outside of New York City for the director. ” I have a great admiration for English actors and actresses and have used them at every opportunity over the years, but now I won’t have to import them to New York,” he said earlier this month in a statement. ”My family and I love the idea of spending the summer here. I only hope I can live up to the high standards of British movies I grew up with.”