It’s not often a movie can change one of its lead actors after it’s been filmed and just a few months before its due to open, but that’s what’s happened with Her. Director Spike Jonze has made a sudden casting switch, replacing Samantha Morton with Scarlett Johansson, just five months before the movie opens on November 20.
The film is about a lonely writer who falls in love with his new computer operating system, which is supposed to tend to his every need. Morton has been set to play the voice of that programme, but now Johansson is stepping into the role (and the fact it’s a voice explains how they can change things so late).
The cast also includes Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, and Olivia Wilde.
Spike Jonze emailed Vulture about the change, saying, “I think, unfortunately, it’s pretty normal in terms of my not-quite-painless-for-everyone-involved ‘process’ of discovering what the movie is.
‘Samantha was with us on set and was amazing. It was only in post production, when we started editing, that we realized that what the character/movie needed was different from what Samantha and I had created together. So we recast and since then Scarlett has taken over that role.
‘I love Samantha. I’ve been friends with her forever and I hope we make lots of things together in the future. Be well, Spike.’