I hate to kick Imagi Entertainment when they're down, but in the wake of news yesterday that the Imagi is in serious financial trouble comes word that Scarlett Johansson, once rumored to appear as a voice in "Astro Boy" (even to the extent that she was, at one point, listed in a studio press release), was never officially signed on for the role.
MTV News caught up with Johansson at the junket for "He's Just Not That Into You" and asked her about the "Astro Boy" rumors.
"I had kind of sort of met on it and stuff, but I don't know where that came from," Johansson told MTV. "I had never been committed to it. I don't know what happened to it."
The film, based on the manga by Osamu Tezuka, tells the story of boy robot built to replace a scientist's lost son. Even without Johansson, the project continues to boast some impressive voice talent, including Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy, Nicolas Cage as his creator, Dr. Tenma, as well as Nathan Lane, Bill Night, Eugene Levy and Kristen Bell.
With Johansson out and the studio's financial woes made public, it remains to be seen if anyone will be replacing her in the role, much less someone of her star power, although her role, which was never specifically announced, may already have been filled by Bell (whose role is also, so far, unspecified).
While it's not at all uncommon for Hollywood deals to fall through, the confirmation of this one does come at a time that leads to some speculation about the films' future. Here's hoping that Imagi will have "Astro Boy" on-track soon or, better yet, that they'll confirm that it was never off-track in the first place.
Who would you like to hear lend their voice to "Astro Boy"? Was Johansson right for the film in the first place? Let us know your thoughts below!