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It's unclear why Witherspoon left `Bunny'

March 10, 2007|John Horn and Sheigh Crabtree

There's no dispute that Reese Witherspoon no longer plans to star in "Bunny Lake Is Missing." But some people associated with the movie are challenging the reasons given for why the movie fell apart.

Earlier this week, the actress told filmmakers she was opting out of the project, which was scheduled to begin production in five weeks. As a result, the remake of the 1965 Otto Preminger film, to be directed by Joe Carnahan ("Smokin' Aces"), was shut down indefinitely and the script sent to other actresses.

Several people associated with the film said that Witherspoon cited emotional distress due to her pending divorce from actor Ryan Phillippe as the reason for her departure, suggesting she wanted to spend more time with her family. But people close to the actress said the Oscar-winning "Walk the Line" star was unhappy with the script and had repeatedly expressed her concerns without receiving satisfactory revisions. (Her contract included script approval.) Some of the filmmakers involved have disputed those claims, saying the actress had not raised the issue until her representatives became involved late this week.

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