Justin Theroux replaces Chris Evans in ‘The Girl on the Train’: good call?


I mentioned in a previous post that I finally got around to reading The Girl on the Train, or “this year’s Gone Girl,” which is how the book is being sold – as the must-read book of the year, the mystery wrapped in an enigma, with a film adaptation coming soon. I flat-out loved Gone Girl and I still think Gillian Flynn is one of the best mass-market fiction writers to come out in the past decade. While I enjoyed The Girl on the Train, I figured out the central mystery pretty quickly and I still kept reading because it was a pretty easy book to get through in one sitting.

The book has five central characters and since the film adaptation will begin soon (the film has been set for an October 2016 release), people have been having fun with the casting choices/rumors. Emily Blunt locked down the central role, Rachel, very early on, although I said recently that I could totally see Jennifer Aniston play that kind of boozy mess. Rebecca Ferguson will play Anna, the second wife of Tom (Rachel was Tom’s first wife). I think Jared Leto has been cast as Meghan’s husband, and the Meghan role has gone to Haley Bennett, whom I do not know whatsoever. The Tom role is important, as he’s seen from several characters’ perspectives and he drives a good part of the narrative. It was said that Chris Evans was in serious talks to play Tom, but now Evans is out. And… Justin Theroux is in?

The Girl on the Train, DreamWorks’ adaptation of the hit book, is adding Justin Theroux to the cast. The actor is in negotiations to step into the suit that was to be worn by Chris Evans, whose deal never took due to a scheduling issue.

Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Jared Leto, Haley Bennett and Edgar Ramirez are all attached to the film. Blunt plays a troubled woman (an alcoholic whose husband left her for his mistress) who becomes fascinated by a seemingly perfect couple whose home she passes while riding the train. But after she thinks she witnesses a murder, she begins to realize that she may have been involved in the crime. Theroux will play Tom, the woman’s ex-husband.

Paula Hawkins’ best-seller hit shelves in January 2015 and had sold more than 3 million copies in the U.S. alone by August.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

I’m honestly not trying to spoil the book for anyone, and I hope no one else spoils it in the comments! But I have to say… I think Justin Theroux could do some very interesting things with this role. I don’t hate this casting rumor at all. Justin does have the intelligence and the potential for smarminess to pull off the role.

It always seemed like one of the reasons why Justin got with the Jennifer Aniston Program was because he was ready to become a star/celebrity. He switched over his representation to CAA (Aniston’s agency) and they tried to bill him as some super-cool, avant-garde actor’s actor. When the movie roles didn’t come, he ended up on The Leftovers and he seems fine with that. But taking this role in what could be a major film… it will take him next-level.



Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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77 Responses to “Justin Theroux replaces Chris Evans in ‘The Girl on the Train’: good call?”

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  1. Esmom says:

    I’m not reading closely because I have not yet read the book and don’t want to stumble into spoilers but it seems like this is a pretty high profile movie for JT to land. I wish I could comment on casting choices, hopefully my book will come up on the library’s wait list soon! 🙂

  2. LadyMTL says:

    I liked the book, though I also figured out the “big reveal” about 150 pages in. Still, it was a good read and I think the movie has potential. IMHO Theroux will be a better Tom than Chris Evans…nothing against Captain America but I didn’t really see him fitting well in that role.

    • Kat says:

      Exactly. Chris Evans is too nice guy to play Tom. I think Justin Theroux will be able to play him well.

    • Mia V. says:

      Not as good as “Gone Girl” and Theroux fits Tom better than Chris Evans.
      And Haley Bennett played the singer in “Music and Lyrics” wirh Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant.

  3. doofus says:

    DAMN…nice guns there.

  4. Lauren says:

    No. Bring back Chris Evans. I wanna drool at him on screen!

  5. Nancy says:

    I think he’s an interesting choice. He does well playing unconventional characters. There’s something about him I like. Team Justin.

  6. tracking says:

    He’s very good in Leftovers. Based on this, I can see why that kind of nice-guy-with-a- complicated-psyche character would have been seen as a good fit for him. Emily Blunt is a friend–that should make for a natural dynamic between them. Not what I expected, but strong casting imo.

    • Rhiley says:

      I was surprised by Emily Blunt, but I also think she she is a good choice. If she can pull it off, I think it will be very good for her career.

      • lola says:

        Does anyone else foresee free Cabo pap trips for Blunt and husband, courtesy of Smartwater, of course, for the next 10 years.

    • mia girl says:

      Having read the book I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of him for the role, but I am actually really liking this choice. I think it’s gonna work.

      He is doing a great job on the Leftovers.
      @Tracking – how are you liking season 2 so far? I’m digging it.

    • Mimi says:

      I agree! I was pleasantly surprised at how good he is on The Leftovers.

    • GiGi says:

      He is very good in the Leftovers – before that I’d only seen him in comedy rolls. I haven’t read the book, yet but he def has the chops.

      @mia girl – I’m LOVING season 2! I was so nervous that I wouldn’t that I let them sit in my DVR, unwatched, until last weekend. But it’s sooooo good!

    • The Original G says:

      he’s very good in the Leftovers. The Leftovers is just not very good, I’m afraid. I need it to go somewhere.

    • mia girl says:

      @Gigi – It’s definitely got a different vibe and pacing this year (I guess because they are off the source material and learned some lessons from season one’s slow start).

      The opening scene was strange but clearly ties to what is happening in the story. I have so many theories on what happened, what’s happening, what might happen… Ahhhh. Some of them are similar to this:


      PS – can’t say this enough… Carrie Coon is my girl-crush

      • tracking says:

        I think season 2 is much sharper than season 1, and I am enjoying it so much more. Season 1 was so grueling, I almost gave up on several occasions, despite the really excellent cast (Carrie Coon, Ann Dowd, Christopher Eccleston–just fantastic). But it was worth it to get to the season finale, which was so much more hopeful.
        PS–@mia girl I also hope we see much, much more of Coon.

      • GiGi says:

        Great article! I absolutely love that they are building this kind of mythology. And I hope they learn from Lost and make sure to tie things together, and, you know, have an ending.

      • tracking says:

        Yes, mia girl, thanks for the article–so interesting!

  7. Rhiley says:

    The New JT is actually a good choice. He has the voice, and of course, the emotive eyebrow. The eyebrow that knows all and warns you with just a slight raise that it knows all. The eyebrow that watches you closely, very closely. The eyebrow that doesn’t take bs from anyone.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      Ugh! The eyebrow is getting worse! He looks WAY better in sunglasses.

    • hadlyB says:

      He’s getting to that age where he is dying his hair way too dark to keep it how it was naturally. He really needs the hair dye ripped from his hands, or go a tad bit lighter. Sometimes its way too dark!

  8. Gosh Golly says:

    This news is personally devastating to me as a JP fan.

    • doofus says:

      please, fellow posters, DON’T TAKE THE BAIT.

      • Lol…I think Justin is a good actor. I only knew who he was when he got with Jennifer, initially, because I thought he was HOT HOT HOT in Charlie’s Angels. Of course, that image was ruined for me when I found out he was a total hipster…..plus Terry Richardson….but yea. I think he’s a good actor, which is irrelevant of whatever I think of his personal life.

      • Nancy says:

        doofus: ??????????????????????????? Gots to know what ur talking about but won’t be back on here for a few hours. Do tell.

      • doofus says:

        nancy, I only meant that, to me, this is an obvious troll who is trying to get one or both “sides” riled up and spawn a rash of essay-like comments that are several paragraphs long.

      • funcakes says:

        I never thought about it but picturing Justin and AJ is good casting. I think they would have great on screen chemistry.

        PS-I think everyone is in a good place now.

    • Tina says:

      Why is this devastating to you as a JP fan? I’m a JoliePitt fan and I like Justin Theroux in The LeftOvers , I really like that show. I can see him playing Tom in The girl on the Train, it will be a good role for him. It’s been 11 years , take a deep breath and let it go.

  9. KikiGee says:

    Just something about him; I recoil every time I see a photo of him. I’m a massive Six Feet Under fan and even in that show I found him unconvincing (or ‘inauthentic’ might be a better, modern, adjective).

  10. desertrose says:

    Damn. JT is looking tasty.

  11. Saywhatwhen says:

    This man’s face looks as if it is trying to prank us. The manscaping and metrosexual -on-steroids thing is so jarring.

  12. sassy says:

    UGH NOOOOO he is so not right for the role……..ugh this kills the movie for me .Mr. Aniston is not Tom

  13. Maya says:

    I think Justin can do a good job here but why does the movie have to be based in US?

    Why not London as the book was????

  14. meme says:

    I LOVED the book but they’ve already ruined it by moving the story to NYC.

  15. Viv says:

    He looks a bit smarmy and very vain. I think he only got with Aniston to boost his career. They’ve no chemistry and the woman he left her for is much younger and prettier. Definitely a career move . Once he gets a few movies under his belt he’ll run off with an attractive costar.

    • Tarsha says:

      +1 Yep, Heidi is a beauty. And as you said, once he has got what he wants out of Aniston, he will cheat with another co-star. After all, it is how they got together. He cheated on poor Heidi with Aniston, so he will cheat on Aniston, too. Karma has a way of catching up with you.

  16. Tarsha says:

    Damn he is nasty-looking. Like a freakishly scary horror wax figure. Ugh.

  17. Jess1632 says:

    He seems like a good fit for Tom; whereas why is Leto in the film as Meghan’s husband who is supposed to be tall and muscular?? Am I missing something?? I met Leto this year and he’s so short so um….I don’t get it

  18. Tina, ya gotta learn not to feed the trolls..a real JP fan would not have made that comment.

  19. Marie says:

    I just can’t. A big No. Chris Evan over him any day.

  20. lucy2 says:

    I wouldn’t have pictured him in the role at all, but could be interesting.

    I liked the book a lot, but think Gone Girl was better.

  21. antipodean says:

    In what universe would Justin Theroux ever be a substitute for Chris Evans? Unfortunately Justin is one of those actors (I use the term loosely) who will always be limited to the category of “character” actor. Very good, maybe, at what he does do, but certainly not a leading man, his odd physicality precludes him from ever being in that category, guns or no guns.

  22. Goo says:

    Excellent choice!

  23. Lyla says:


    While I couldn’t really picture Chris Evans in the role, I was still looking forward to seeing what he did with it.

    I don’t want to see the emotive eyebrow in this at all. Not a fan.

  24. Cc says:

    Both Leto and this guy in the movie? ugh, no offense but the two of them look so… shady (even though that’s good for the roles). I guess we’ll have to wait for the movie.

    • trilby227 says:

      yes, the swarm factor will be high.

    • EN says:

      Yep, I don’t think even Emily Blunt can fix that. Theroux over Chris Evans – bad decision, Theroux and Leto are both extremely unlikable.

      • trilby227 says:

        I don’t think it was a decision. Evans had scheduling conflicts, so they had to go with someone else. I think “The Girl on the Train” starts shooting the beginning of November, so they had to find someone fast.

  25. Jh says:

    He is SO GREAT in The Leftovers- it’s the only show I’m super into right now. Love!

  26. ell says:

    he’s fine for tom. leto is the worst choice though.

  27. kimbers says:

    My mom thinks he’s cute…I do not.

  28. cd3 says:

    Thoughts on Edgar Ramirez being cast as Dr Kamal Abdic?

  29. SlimJim says:

    Every time I see the Emoting Eyebrow, I think of the classic SNL “Cowbell” sketch. But substitute cowbell for eyebrow, to wit:

    “I could have used a little more eyebrow. ”

    “I gotta have more eyebrow, babies.”

    “I gotta fever. And the only prescription is…more eyebrow.”