Armie Hammer to ‘step away’ from Jennifer Lopez rom-com amid scandal

Armie Hammer will “step away” from a romantic comedy he was set to star in opposite Jennifer Lopez in the wake of a brewing scandal surrounding his sex life.

Hammer was set to start filming “Shotgun Wedding” in the Dominican Republic at the end of February. But on Wednesday, a production spokesperson for the Lionsgate project said, “given the imminent start date,” the 34-year-old “has requested” to be recast.

“We support him in his decision,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The news comes days after Hammer became a trending topic on Twitter on Sunday, when various women on Instagram who said they had been in sexual relationships with Hammer posted disturbing allegations about his conduct.

In a statement, Hammer shot down the “bullshit claims,” saying he would not respond to them.”[I]n light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic,” the actor said. “Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I’m grateful to them for that.”

Hammer, who said in July he was divorcing his wife of ten years, has a 6-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son with ex Elizabeth Chambers.

In October, Lionsgate sent out a press release touting the Hammer and Lopez film, which is about a couple whose destination wedding takes a dramatic turn when the guests are taken hostage.

“Jennifer and Armie’s irresistible magnetism, separately and together, make them the perfect pairing for this action comedy,” Erin Westerman, president of production for Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, said at the time. “They are both incredibly funny actors that can also deliver on the action, but what sets this movie apart is the way their infectious chemistry commands the screen. You can’t take your eyes off them.”

Hammer, whose great-grandfather was the oil magnate Armand Hammer, rose to fame when he starred as both of the Winkelvoss twins in the 2010 film “The Social Network.” Since then, he has earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role in “Call Me by Your Name” and has worked with filmmakers like Guy Ritchie and Clint Eastwood.

His latest film, “Rebecca,” came out on Netflix in October and was also clouded by scandal; his co-star Lily James reportedly pulled out of numerous press obligations after intimate paparazzi photos emerged of her with the married actor Dominic West. He has already completed work on Taika Waititi’s “Next Goal Wins,” in which he has a supporting part, Kenneth Branagh’s “Death on the Nile,” and the drug trafficking thriller “Crisis” — all of which are slated for 2021 release.

Beyond “Shotgun Wedding,” however, Hammer still has a number of projects set to shoot. In October, it was announced that he would appear opposite Mads Mikkelsen in Amma Asante’s Cold War thriller “Billion Dollar Spy.” He is also supposed to be in a television adaptation of a Slate podcast called “Gaslit” with Julia Roberts and Sean Penn.

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