Felicity Jones, Jonathan Bailey Drop Out of Simon Amstell Comedy ‘Maria’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Felicity Jones and Jonathan Bailey are no longer attached to star in Simon Amstell’s comedy “Maria,” Variety can confirm.

The movie is currently on pause after cast scheduling issues were followed by last year’s Hollywood strikes, although a source says Amstell is in talks to revive the project, which was first launched at Cannes two years ago.

Jones was set to lead the feature, playing a woman called Maria who was struggling with her age and a difficult relationship with her terminally-ill father. According to the logline, Maria then embarked on a questionable relationship with her stepbrother Raffy.

“Bridgerton’s” Jonathan Bailey was lined up to play Maria’s boyfriend while Jason Isaacs was cast as her father.

Variety understands the film, which was due to go into production in 2022, hit its first road bump when Bailey pulled out in order to star in another project. While Isaacs remained on board, Jones eventually also parted ways with the film. Attempts to re-cast the characters were derailed by last year’s SAG-AFTRA strike and Amstell, who wrote and was set to direct “Maria” (a follow-up to his 2018 feature “Benjamin”) was soon busy with other projects.

Reps for Amstell and sales agent Independent Entertainment declined to comment but sources indicate to Variety that the creative team have not given up on the film and hope it can be rebooted with a new cast.

Jones is next set to star opposite Joel Edgerton in Clint Bentley’s feature “Train Dreams” while Bailey will appear alongside Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo in “Wicked.” Isaacs has signed up for “White Lotus” Season 3.

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