Casting Call: Brad Pitt Replaces Matt Damon As Big-Screen 'Fighter'

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Brad Pitt steps in to “Fight” for Matt Damon. Winona Ryder turns “Informer.” Plus, Katherine Heigl gets “Lost.” It’s all in today’s Access Hollywood Casting Call…

Brad Pitt is poised to replace Matt Damon in “The Fighter,” the drama about Boston boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward, Access Hollywood has learned.

Mark Wahlberg stars as Ward in the film, which chronicles his unlikely path to the world lightweight title.

Pitt is in talks to play Dicky Eklund, Mickey’s half-brother and a talented fighter in his own right, who threw away his talents for a life of crimes and drugs before being sentenced to prison and turning his life around.

Damon, who had been hoping to reunite with his “Departed” co-star Wahlberg, reportedly had to bail on the project because he had too many other projects lined up.

However, Variety reports Damon gave his blessing to his “Ocean’s” pal Pitt taking his place.

Upon his release from prison, Eklund became Mickey’s trainer at a time when he wasn’t having much success in the ring and was contemplating retirement.

Together as a team, the brothers found the spark that led to a remarkable run of wins for Mickey and eventually the world title.

Production is scheduled to begin in 2008.

Katherine Heigl is teaming with her mother Nancy to produce the big screen adaptation of the best-seller “Lost & Found,” reports Variety.

The novel, penned by Jacqueline Sheehan, centers on a widowed psychologist who moves to a remote Maine island and finds work in an animal hospital following the death of her husband.

No word yet if Heigl would also star in the film.

The news comes less than a week after Heigl took home the Emmy for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens in the ABC hit drama “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Next up for Heigl on the big screen in the comedy “27 Dresses,” co-starring James Marsden and Edward Burns.

Winona Ryder and Mickey Rourke are joining the cast of “The Informers,” per The Hollywood Reporter.

They join the previously announced Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Brandon Routh, Ashley Olsen and Austin Nichols in the film, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis.

The drama, which tells seven separate stories, follows a week in the lives of a group of morally challenged characters in 1980s Los Angeles.

Ryder will play a newscaster who has just been dumped after a longtime affair with a married producer.

Rourke will play Peter, an amoral former studio security guard who plots to kidnap a small child to sell to the leader of a Los Angeles cult.

Ryder’s next project will be the Kirsten Dunst-directed “Welcome.” She just finished shooting “Sex and Death 101” alongside Simon Baker and Leslie Bibb.

Ryan Phillippe and Eva Green will star in the futuristic thriller “Franklyn,” according to Variety.

The film follows four lost souls divided by two parallel worlds (a modern-day London and a future metropolis dominated by faith) set for an explosive collision with a single bullet deciding everyone’s fate.

The project marks the debut for first-time director Gerald McMorrow and also stars acting newcomer Sam Riley.

Giovanni Ribisi is blasting in to outer space with James Cameron for the new sci-fi 3-D feature “Avatar,” per The Hollywood Reporter.

Ribisi, who will playa passive-aggressive character named Selfridge, joins Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington in the film, which follows a group of humans pitted against a distant planet’s indigenous inhabitants.

The blockbuster (budgeted at $190 million) is slated for a May 22, 2009 release.

It will feature live-action as well as virtual special effects. The film will also feature six computer-generated actors, referred to as “synthespians.”

The film marks Cameron’s first dramatic feature since the Oscar-winning blockbuster “Titanic” in 1997.

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