Owen Wilson turned down ‘$12m offer’ to star in movie depicting OJ Simpson as innocent

‘If you think I’m going to take the lead role in a movie about how OJ didn’t do it, you’ve got to be kidding me,’ the actor reportedly said

Kevin E G Perry
Wednesday 24 April 2024 19:48 BST
OJ Simpson dies of cancer age 76

Owen Wilson has reportedly turned down a leading role in an upcoming film that depicts OJ Simpson as innocent of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

The film, which is titled The Juice and has been described as a “satirical thriller”, is being directed by British filmmaker Joshua Newton.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Newton said that he had approached Wilson about playing Douglas McCann, a real-life attorney who delved into the many conspiracy theories that surrounded Simpson’s 1995 murder trial.

“Owen Wilson was perfect for the role,” said Newton.

“I actually had a meeting with him in Santa Monica. Everybody loved the script. His agent wanted him to do it. We offered him $12m. But at the end of the lunch, Owen stood up and said, ‘If you think I’m going to take the lead role in a movie about how OJ didn’t do it, you’ve got to be kidding me.’”

The Independent has contacted Owen’s representatives for comment.

Owen Wilson and OJ Simpson
Owen Wilson and OJ Simpson (Getty)

Production of the film, which was originally titled Nicole & OJ, is continuing. Station 19’s Boris Kodjoe is playing Simpson opposite Charlotte Kirk (Ocean’s 8) as Nicole Brown Simpson.

Newton says he hopes to complete the movie by 3 October, which would mark the 29th anniversary of Simpson’s not-guilty verdict.

Simpson died of cancer earlier this month at the age of 76.

His high-profile murder trial has frequently been adapted for film and television, with the American Crime Story series The People vs OJ Simpson described as “the TV event of 2016”.

The trial was also the subject of the eight-hour 2016 ESPN documentary series OJ: Made in America. As well as covering the so-called trial of the century in explicit detail, the series also contextualizes Simpson’s life, career and notoriety with race relations in the US.

It became the longest movie to win an Oscar when it won best documentary in 2017, where Edelman dedicated his statuette to Brown Simpson, Goldman, their families and the victims of police brutality.

Simpson was found not guilty of the 1994 murders despite a trove of evidence and the apparent absence of any other viable suspect.

His televised trial gripped the public across the US and beyond, exposing and widening the deep fissures in US race relations. It also showed how far feminism still had to go in defeating ingrained misogyny, and arguably gave birth to the reality TV era.

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