Scarlett Johansson

Most of us don’t spend a lot of time considering the nuances of disembodied robot voices like Siri’s or the GPS navigator’s. But then most of us aren’t directing movies in which an operating system is one of the romantic leads.

Scarlett Johansson has replaced Samantha Morton as the computerized love interest of Spike Jonze‘s Her, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a writer who falls for his operating system. The change came about at the last minute — initial shooting had already wrapped when Jonze decided to recast the part. Hit the jump to read his explanation.

Jonze discussed his decision in a letter to Vulture.

I think, unfortunately, it’s pretty normal in terms of my not-quite-painless-for-everyone-involved ‘process’ of discovering what the movie is.

Samantha was with us on set and was amazing. It was only in post production, when we started editing, that we realized that what the character/movie needed was different from what Samantha and I had created together. So we recast and since then Scarlett has taken over that role.

I love Samantha. I’ve been friends with her forever and I hope we make lots of things together in the future.

Be well,
Spike

His statement doesn’t shed much light on how exactly Johansson’s take on the character differs from Morton’s, but we trust he knows what he’s doing. At any rate, Her‘s cast as a whole is top-notch. Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, and Amy Adams star alongside Phoenix and Johansson. Her lands in theaters November 20.

In the not so distant future, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely writer purchases a newly developed operating system designed to meet the user’s every needs. To Theodore’s surprise, a romantic relationship develops between him and his operating system. This unconventional love story blends science fiction and romance in a sweet tale that explores the nature of love and the ways that technology isolates and connects us all.

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