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Keira Knightley Steps In For Scarlett Johansson On John Carney's Musical 'Can A Song Save Your Life?'

by Oliver Lyttelton
May 16, 2012 8:00 AM
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Now roughly six billion people have seen the thing, we can all pretty much agree that Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson were the secret weapons of superhero mega-hit "The Avengers." The former brought a wry understatement to Bruce Banner, as well as performance-capturing the most effective screen take on the Hulk yet, while Johansson banished any memories of her flat turn in "Iron Man 2" and made Black Widow steely, vulnerable, cunning and funny, often in the same breath.

For some time, it looked as though we'd be seeing the two actors team up again, for "Can A Song Save Your Life?," a new musical romance from John Carney, the director of sleeper hit "Once," which Judd Apatow is set to produce. But when we spoke to Ruffalo last month, the actor suggested that Johansson was off the project, and now confirmation has come in that the actress won't be appearing in Carney's film, via Screen Daily. But the good news is that an A-list replacement has already been found, as the trade reports that Keira Knightley has now come on board to play the female lead in the project.

The actress will play a singer who moves to New York, only to be dumped by her boyfriend. But a down-on-his-luck record producer (Ruffalo) discovers her singing in a bar, and sets out to make her a star, with romance presumably blossoming soon after. Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld ("True Grit") is also on board, to play Ruffalo's daughter. Knightley keeps going from strength to strength as an actress, and this is the kind of role that we're keen to see her play, and with the pedigree of Carney and Apatow on board, things are looking very good on this one. A summer shoot in NYC is planned, so we should see this in the second half of next year.

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  • graham | May 17, 2012 5:46 PMReply

    That's great news. She was incredible in Last Night and it's nice to see her in a modern film.

  • Liz | May 16, 2012 2:12 PMReply

    Keira did some very nice singing and acting in the Edge of Love. I don't doubt she'll do fine in the musical numbers. I found out of most young actresses she's done some of the most difficult roles. Just watch her in Last Night and A Dangerous Method. She was amazing in both.

  • aara | May 16, 2012 12:20 PMReply

    I liked Keira's voice in The Edge of Love. To me Johansson is a very good actress, but very inconsistent, while Keira keeps getting better and better (her turns in Last Night and Dangerous Method last year were great and polar opposites). I look forward to this new film.

  • wpp | May 16, 2012 12:03 PMReply

    The big question is , can Keira Knightley carry a tune ?!

  • Ed | May 16, 2012 12:10 PM

  • wpp | May 16, 2012 12:01 PMReply

    What ! Scarlett Johansson was her typical wooden self in " The Avengers."

  • C | May 16, 2012 9:40 AMReply

    Downgrade. Knightley is only good in period pieces and cannot play subtle which is what this role probably calls for.

  • Ugh | May 16, 2012 10:12 AM

    Yeah ok watch Last Night and get back to me. And are you saying that period pieces require some kind of different acting than modern-set films? What.

  • D. | May 16, 2012 9:15 AMReply

    Hulk and Black Widow were the secret weapon?! (LOL!)...Hulk, absolutely but Johansson as BW?...meh, not so much and you guys know it. Johansson's reps/Disney are really paying you people well these days aren't they?.

  • C | May 16, 2012 9:41 AM

    They're talking about the performances and, yes, along with Hiddleston Johansson was best in show in terms of performance. The Hulk was a scene stealer but that was less Ruffalo and more Whedon's writing.

  • Oui | May 16, 2012 8:57 AMReply

    This cast is now perfect.

  • caro | May 16, 2012 8:50 AMReply

    i definitively didn't see the same AVENGERS movie than you:it's all about Stark-Irob man and angry HULK

  • Faith | May 16, 2012 9:15 AM

    Yeah, I thought Black Widow was even worse in the Avengers than in IM2.

  • ecno | May 16, 2012 8:24 AMReply

    Huge upgrade.

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