By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 6, 2011 at 5:37AM
With filming set to kick off in June, Noah Baumbach just lost two huge names from his gestating relationship dramedy "While We're Young."
JustJared reports that James Franco and Cate Blanchett, who both boarded the project late last year, have now exited the film. The always busy Franco signed on last month to star in Sam Raimi's "Oz The Great And Powerful," creating a scheduling conflict that has forced him to bow out of the indie film. As for Blanchett, no reason is given for her departure, but perhaps her commitment to Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" films have caused a traffic jam on her calendar for the summer.
The silver lining is that there is still time for Baumbach to round up replacements and with Ben Stiller still attached, we're sure that it shouldn't be too difficult to slot in some new leads. This certainly isn't the first time Baumbach has had to scramble for new actors; "Greenberg" was originally set to star Mark Ruffalo and Amy Adams before Stiller and Greta Gerwig took the roles.
As for "While We're Young," it finds Baumbach in some very familiar territory as it chronicles a Brooklynite twenty-something couple who inspire an uptight documentarian and his wife to loosen up; comic mishaps ensue. Franco and another actress were originally set to play the 20-something couple, while Stiller and Blanchett would play the other pair in the story (and Blanchett herself was taking the part from Jennifer Jason Leigh who split with Baumbach last year). We'll have to wait and see how it takes shape in the coming weeks.