It is one of the most famous murders of all time: When O.J. Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her lover were murdered, half the world followed the trial against the former football star with fascination. After his death, a new film about the double murder is now to be completed. However, one of the desired roles had to be recast: Owen Wilson gave the director a very clear rejection.

Director Joshua Newton himself reported this to the “Hollywood Reporter”. “Owen Wilson was perfect for the role,” he enthused about the actor with the trademark grin. The film, named “The Juice” after Simpson’s nickname, is about lawyer Douglas McCann, who becomes embroiled in several conspiracy theories during the trial. Wilson was set to co-star with McCann. But that failed because of his principles.

“I actually had a meeting with him in Santa Barbara. Everyone loved the script, his agent wanted him to do it,” Newton recalls. “But at the end Wilson stood up and said, ‘If you think I’m starring in a movie about O.J.’s innocence, you can’t be serious.’ Even the offered fee of $12 million couldn’t change that.

Whether O.J. Whether Simpson is guilty or not is still the subject of bitter debate in the United States. Simspon was ultimately acquitted in the spectacular trial because of doubts about a glove used in the crime. However, a civil court was subsequently convinced of his guilt – and ordered him to pay almost $30 million in damages to the victims’ families. O.J. had it. but not paid by his death, they grew to almost $100 million with interest. His executor had already announced that he did not want to give the families “a cent” (you can find out more here).

According to the British-born director, finding the right leading actor is the biggest hurdle for the film, which has been in the works for almost nine years. He told the industry newspaper that he had found a very good replacement for Wilson, but didn’t want to reveal who it was yet.

The fact that the main actor is missing didn’t stop Newton: filming has been going on for a long time. A good half hour of the film is already in the can, mostly consisting of flashbacks with German-born Boris Kodjoe in the role of O.J. Simpson. Newton’s plan: to finish the film by the 30th anniversary of the verdict on October 3 next year.

What: Hollywood Reporter