There's trouble at Southfork! Will somebody please up and shoot J.R. agin afore this movie ever gets made?!?
From the pages of PAGE SIX in the New York Post:
JOHN Travolta has been dropped from the "Dallas" movie after being promoted as the project's anchor for more than two years.
(**Sounds like a good career move. Read on**)
Insiders tell Page Six that Travolta, who was just nominated for a Golden Globe for donning a fat suit for his drag role in "Hairspray," was "let go about two weeks ago. He had the role of J.R. Ewing taken from him and given to Ben Stiller."
However, a rep for Stiller denies the comic actor accepted or was offered the part.
"John was given a nice seven-figure 'gift' to go away quietly," our source added. "He also got five family members roles in the movie, and they aren't going to be in it now, either."
A friend of Travolta confirmed, "He is not doing the movie. They've gone in a different direction than was originally intended. I don't know about any 'gift,' and I don't think the family member thing is correct."
A rep for Travolta declined to comment.
This is just the latest chapter in the troubled "Dallas" saga. The first big upheaval occurred last year when Shirley MacLaine (who was to play Miss Ellie), Luke Wilson (Bobby Ewing) and Jennifer Lopez (Sue Ellen) were dropped from the cast. Meg Ryan and Matthew McConaughey's names were then brought up, but neither was signed.
Director Robert Luketic was also let go in favor of "Bend It Like Beckham" helmer Gurinder Chadha, and the budget was downsized from an original $65 million to "something way less," the source said.
(**I'm guessing that "way less" won't be more**)
Producers may be looking for a Stiller-like talent to take Travolta's role because the word is that "Dallas" will now - if it ever gets made - be a "comedic, behind-the-scenes" movie instead of the originally intended drama.
(**Jock Ewing rolled over in his grave just this very minute**)
The change was made last year after distributor 20th Century Fox conducted focus groups on "Dallas" with small Midwestern audiences. Producers decided the picture needed "more laughs" and called for an entirely new, slapstick script and was rewritten as "a 'show-within-a-show' comedy," like the Nicole Kidman bomb "Bewitched."
A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox declined to comment.
(**I wonder why**)