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Sam Worthington Offered This Means War, in a Role First Meant for Martin Lawrence

Vulture has learned that Sam Worthington has been offered a starring role in Fox’s action/romantic comedy This Means War, to be directed by McG; Worthington and Chris Pine (who is already signed on) would play best friends and veteran spies who wage black-ops warfare on each other when they both fall for the same girl (Reese Witherspoon, who’s also producing, along with Will Smith’s company, Overbrook Entertainment). Of course, if this movie’s eleven-year, musical-chair history is any indication, Worthington will sit on the project for awhile and eventually wander off so the mongering can be passed on to someone else.

Here’s a War history lesson: The project has been around since 1998, when it was set up as a comedy for Martin Lawrence. Since then, it has seen stars come and go, most recently Bradley Cooper. The project has also had many directors (Gore Verbinski was once attached) and writers: The list of scribes who have shaped and reshaped it include Burr Steers (How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days), Cormac and Marianne Wibberly (National Treasure), Kiernan and Michele Mulroney (Paper Man), and Tim Dowling (Role Models).

The film is a priority for Fox — they’ll make it by 2042 if it kills them! — but complicating matters is that Worthington is also said to be considering doing Man on a Ledge for Summit Entertainment. In Ledge, he’d play an ex-cop threatening to jump to his death from a Manhattan hotel rooftop; unbeknownst to the police psychologists brought in to talk him down, the “suicide attempt” is a cover for the biggest diamond heist ever attempted. If he takes Summit’s offer, Fox may offer the War role to Colin Farrell, who wasn’t half bad as a spy-in-training in 2002's The Recruit ... that is, if you could hear him above Al Pacino's near-constant screaming of failed catchphrases like “My dick’s on fire!”

Photo: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images