Blake Lively Out, Rooney Mara In to Lead Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Side Effects’

Here we are, once again, talking about Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming thriller about depression and medication, Side Effects. The last time we left our players in this ongoing drama Annapurna Pictures had pulled their funding from the film, reportedly over a kerfuffle about casting. You see, rumor had it that there was some uneasy feelings about Blake Lively playing the lead role in this film, that of a depressed woman who battles addiction and is in the middle of a love triangle involving both her husband and her doctor. Further rumors indicated that there were a whole short-list of actresses that Soderbergh and his people were looking at to replace Lively, and hopefully restore faith in the project.

Well, it looks like at least most of those rumors were true. Deadline Bedford is reporting that Lively has been shuffled off the film and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara will now be taking her place as the lead. Seeing as Mara just turned a lot of heads playing a dark, troubled woman and Lively hasn’t ever turned too many heads doing anything, this is probably good news for the movie overall.

That question about funding still looms overhead, however. Now that this casting issue has been solved will Annapurna come back on board and reform their partnership with distributor Open Road, or has that deal gone permanently sour during this back and forth? And if Annapurna isn’t coming back, are there any other companies giving this one a look and wanting to cough up some dough?

You can throw out all of the Rooney Maras, Catherine Zeta-Joneses, Channing Tatums, and Jude Laws you want in these casting reports, but if somebody doesn’t step up and actually pay for this movie to be made, then nobody is going to be in it. Stay tuned. With the speed that news about this production keeps coming out, I’m sure we’ll have our answers and a whole new set of questions within a couple of days.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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