Exclusive: Bradley Cooper drops out of spy comedy 'This Means War'

The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper won’t be heading to the spy genre anytime soon. The actor has exited the long-gestating spy comedy project This Means War, in which he was set to star opposite Reese Witherspoon. Twentieth Century Fox confirms Cooper’s departure, saying the actor had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with The Hangover 2.

This Means War, which Terminator Salvation director McG is in negotiations to direct, was set to begin filming in July, while Hangover director Todd Philips isn’t planning on shooting his sequel to the $277 million grosser until fall, which would theoretically give Cooper time to do both roles should he choose. But a source close to Cooper says that the actor had creative concerns regarding the project, which centers on two spying best friends whose relationship falls apart when they both fall for the same woman (Witherspoon). The source says Cooper had some issues with the script, which has been through numerous iterations since Fox originally purchased it back in 1998.  The most recent draft is from Role Models scribe Timothy Dowling. Cooper’s reps declined to comment.

It isn’t clear what Fox will do now. The script was a priority project, and there is no word on who the studio will reach out to first as a replacement for Cooper.

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  • Leah

    Bradley Cooper is a good actor. Too bad he is settling for a career of low-level movies like The Hangover, Wedding Crashers, A-Team, etc.

    • Adam

      How can The Hangover be considered a low-level movie? Maybe you didn’t like it, but it was critically acclaimed and it won the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy).

      • Nshi

        Cadley Brooper heh heh heh heh

      • Tarc

        Well, Halle Berry has a Oscar. Winning one of the awards is clearly no indicator of quality. Halle can’t act, and The Hangover was embarrassingly bad.

      • MSR

        Halle Berry is a decent actress. Monster’s Ball was by no means an exceptional film and I have a feeling she won for the minutes of nudity during the crazily long sex scene for “baring her character’s soul.” Urgh.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Hangover is a low level movie. The fact it is lauded shows how far intelligence has fallen in this country. I chuckled at a couple of parts but people waaaaay over hyped that movie.

    • Sheldon

      Bradley Cooper is a low level actor, always has been. These mass audience roles are perfect for him.

      • mishka

        I second this statement. Bradley Cooper is charming but unfortunately, he doesn’t have “the jaws” to earn high-profile roles like Bradley Jolie (yeah, that one :) ).

      • Tarc

        I think Cooper has been making steady gains in his acting quality and in the films he chooses. Dumping this film looks like the wants the trend to continue.

      • kylla

        But, man…. IS HE HOT OR WHAT!!!! He doesn’t need to act good or be in good movies ;)

      • nursesdate

        He is so cool

    • jason

      the minute bradley cooper tries to do a drama is the minute we will see how totally mediocre he is as an actor. he was so awful on alias they fired him.

      • cthemusic

        He wasn’t fired. He was killed off because he got his own show on NBC called “Kitchen Confidential”(13 esp.). Do your research before you post.

      • Drarry

        It was on Fox not NBC…just saying.

      • Skeebo

        Midnight Meat Train

      • DW

        He was not fired OR killed off on Alias.

      • MSR

        LOL did any of you WATCH Alias? He wasn’t killed off, he was in danger so was put into witness protection. He becaming a recurring guest after that point.

      • MSR

        *became a recurring guest after that.

    • Shannon

      I don’t know about a good actor, but he is VERY hot and reminds of me of Matthew McConaughey. I will watch both of them in anything.

    • Jason

      You must have a vote for the Oscars. Wedding Crashers and The Hangover are side split funny with decent plots. Low level movies? C’mon!

  • monkeybread

    The Hangover and Wedding Crashers were not low level movies.

    • BlackIrish4094

      Yes idiot, they were. I like certain lowborw comedies too (grandma’s Boy which is way funnier than the Hangover) but don’t make them out to be something they are not.

    • Marylynn

      They were both hysterical. Not everyone liked them, but not everyone has the same taste. I’ll add 40 Year Old Virgin to that list.

  • Celia

    It sounds like the script might be crap since they’ve been trying to fix it for 12 years.
    Bradley has got The A-Team anyways.

  • Dennis

    I had no idea that this was about spies. The trades just described it as a romantic comedy. The title makes so much more sense now.

  • Ethan

    The bigger concern is why Reese Witherspoon would sign on to this. It sounds like a thankless role.

    • Tomm

      Reese did ‘4 Christmas’, which was thankless. She even had to wrestle a little girl in an inflatable playroom.

  • Andy Bluebear

    But seriously, it’s been in development for 12 years? Doubt it’ll be the next ‘Avatar’…….sometimes, Hollywood needs to just let go.

    • BlackIrish4094

      Avatar sucked balls, so this movie does sound like it has the potential to be the next Avatar.

      • Alan Smithee

        How dare you point out the Emperor has no clothes! Avatar. Warrior smurfs need saving from big bad humans!

  • Mandy

    Bradley Cooper started in the spy genre — remember “Alias”? — so maybe it’s a better thing that he is doing other stuff.

    • Matty

      Yes, this article is poorly researched. “Heading to the spy genre”? HE STARTED THERE. Sometimes EW makes me so mad.

  • MaxwellHouser

    He probably realized McG is directing this movie

    • BlackIrish4094

      Now that’s awesome, lol. Why doesn’t that idiot director just use his real name. McG was fine for the Charlie’s Angels movies but c’mon.

  • Miguel

    Think maybe Bradley Cooper finally got around to watching Terminator Salvation?

  • Skeebo

    Anybody see “Midnight meat train”Cooper’s got the acting chops.

  • Shiny

    The script has been festering since 1998? I can see the stink lines from here. I’m glad BC dropped out of this rom com; anything with Reese, Jennifer Anniston and/or Kate Hudson should be avoided like a Hurt Locker land mine.

  • Todd

    “Got the jaws”? The expression is “the chops”

    He doesn’t have the chops.


  • Fred V

    “The Hangover 2″??? No wonder some of us think Hollywood’s lost it.

    • BlackIrish4094

      Agree 100%.

  • Tomm

    I hardly think Bradley desires to get an Oscar nod, or be a “DeNiro”.

    He seems quite happy in popcorn movies and can just make people laugh.

  • DW

    Exiting a McG movie is never a bad idea.

    • Alan Smithee

      ! Almost as bad as a Golan/Globus production.

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