James Marsden Offered Paul Walker’s Role in ‘The Best of Me’

By January 10, 2014


The tragic death of actor Paul Walker back in November not only marked a loss for the Hollywood community at large (the outpouring of love for Walker was both moving and genuine), but also for a number of projects the star had in the works. Of course, the Walker-starring Fast and Furious franchise has been the target of the most speculation (the actor passed away in the middle of shooting on the seventh film of the seemingly unstoppable franchise, and the film’s creative team has only recently announced their plans to “retire” Walker’s character within the film), but Walker’s slate was full with a number of other films, too, and those projects are steadily going about the sad business of recasting his roles.

Deadline reports that at least one of Walker’s roles has now been offered to James Marsden, as the actor has been asked to star in the big screen adaption of Nicholas Sparks’ “The Best of Me,” a role Walker won last year.

The outlet reports that an offer has been made to Marsden, who was just quite memorably seen in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and who has certainly done his fair share of romantic work to boot (Marsden has starred in films like 27 Dresses and Enchanted) and should be fully capable of playing a Sparksian hero in the film adaptation. It wouldn’t be the first time Marsden appeared in a Sparks film either, as he co-starred in 2004’s The Notebook as the guy that Rachel McAdams actually dumps in order to be with Ryan Gosling, so he’s probably interested in actually getting the goods this time around.

The Best of Me

Michael Hoffman is already set to direct the film from a script he penned alongside J. Mills Goodloe and Will Fetters. The film will co-star Michelle Monaghan in the lead female role. Sparks’ book “is about two former high school sweethearts reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of the beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the sparks, but the forces that drove them apart back then still get in the way.”

Deadline reports that Joe Manganiello was also in the running for the role.

The Best of Me currently has a set release date of October 17, and there’s no word if that will change in light of this recasting.

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss, Film.com, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.