Armie Hammer has dropped out of Lionsgate’s “Shotgun Wedding,” in which he was set to star with Jennifer Lopez, amid a social media firestorm about what the actor calls “bulls— claims” about him.
“Given the imminent start date of ‘Shotgun Wedding,’ Armie has requested to step away from the film and we support him in his decision,” a production spokesperson said. The role will be recast.
Hammer’s decision to leave the project comes after leaked messages purporting to detail the star’s sex life, including a supposed interested in cannibalism and rape fantasies, surfaced on an Instagram account under the name House of Effie.
But the actor on Wednesday flatly disputed the legitimacy of the DMs. “I’m not responding to these bulls— claims but in 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 in a statement. “Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I’m grateful to them for that.”
This is the latest example of an unverified internet rumor that has mushroomed into a PR nightmare — the Hammer “DMs” first surfaced over the weekend, with online fans seizing on the extremity of the unverified messages as Hammer became a trending topic on social media platforms. While Hammer himself initially remained silent, Page Six resurfaced a 2013 Playboy interview in which the “Call Me by Your Name” star described himself as a “dominant lover” who enjoyed “grabbing women by the neck and hair” during sex.
But the furor over the spurious messages has now prompted the star to drop out of “Shotgun Wedding,” which Lionsgate announced in October as a vehicle for Lopez and Hammer, with Jason Moore directing and Ryan Reynolds as an executive producer.
The film follows a couple hosting a destination wedding with their lovable but opinionated families, only for the couple to get cold feet and for the entire wedding party to be taken hostage, forcing the couple to save their loved ones before they get at each other’s throats. Mark Hammer and Liz Meriwether wrote the screenplay.
Hammer’s most recent credits include “On the Basis of Sex,” “Wounds,” “Rebecca” and “Hotel Mumbai,” and he will next star in “Crisis” and “Death on the Nile.”
He is represented by WME, Relevant and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.