Malin Akerman ("Watchmen") will replace Lindsay Lohan as adult film star Linda Lovelace in Matthew Wilder's "Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story," the director has confirmed on his Facebook page.
Lohan's involvement in the project has been a question mark almost since the beginning, due to her wild ways and revolving door of rehab throwing production schedules out the window on at least one occasion.
Wilder is directing the drama from his own screenplay, which landed on the 2008 Black List and is based on "Ordeal: An Autobiography" by Lovelace and Mike McGrady.
Wilder's script about the "Deep Throat" star has been described as tawdry, but I think the Lovelace role presents some fascinating dramatic possibilities for an actress who is willing to go to the dark places it demands. This isn't just gratuitous smut for the sake of generating controversy and drumming up box office. It's integral to the story and helps the audience understand the psychology of the character and the abuse she suffered/submitted to.
While Akerman may not sell as many tickets as Lohan, she's an equally promising young talent. Best known for her roles in comedies such as "The Heartbreak Kid," "27 Dresses," "The Proposal" and "Couples Retreat," it's good to see Akerman challenging herself as an actress and broadening her repertoire. I'm sure there are those who warned her about signing on for such a controversial project, but I have a feeling that her faith in the filmmakers will pay off for her career.
Muse Productions' Chris Hanley will produce "Inferno" with Jordan Gertner, and the film is scheduled to begin principal photography in February.
Akerman has been riding a hot indie streak of late. She recently co-starred in "The Romantics," and next stars in Josh Radnor's acclaimed indie "Happythankyoumoreplease," as well as the Ryan Philippe-Taylor Kitsch apartheid drama "The Bang Bang Club," which was recently acquired by Tribeca Film.
Additionally, Akerman has wrapped the indie thriller "Catch .44" and will appear alongside Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston in David Wain's upcoming comedy "Wanderlust." The actress is also attached to star in "The Numbers Station" with Ethan Hawke and the indie comedy "The Giant Mechanical Man."
Akerman is represented by WME and Sanders Armstrong Caserta Management.