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Past woes force Downey out of Woody's latest

Past woes force Downey out of Woody’s latest. The production couldn’t afford the insurance to cover the rehabbed actor

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Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr.: Ronald Asadorian/Splash News/NewsCom

Robert Downey has reportedly been clean and sober for about two years, and he recently passed a physical exam that he was asked to take before cameras roll on the next Woody Allen picture. Nonetheless, Variety reports, he’s been dropped from the film because of his drug past. The trade paper says that Downey and quasi-independent studio Fox Searchlight couldn’t come to terms over collateral to cover the insurance premium necessary because of Downey’s drug history — a cost the actor reportedly found out about only after he passed his physical.

Absent from the screen since 2000’s ”Wonder Boys,” Downey has made two movies in the last year, the independent drama ”The Singing Detective” and the Warner Bros. thriller ”Gothika” (opposite Halle Berry). Both are due in theaters on Oct. 24.

Initially, Allen’s movie (cloaked in the director’s pre-production secrecy) was to have united Downey, Winona Ryder, and ChloĆ« Sevigny. Two weeks ago, however, it was announced that Radha Mitchell (”Phone Booth,” ”Pitch Black”) would be taking the role for which Ryder had been in talks. Now, Variety reports, ”American Wedding”’s Jason Biggs may replace Downey. Biggs stars opposite Christina Ricci in Allen’s newest romantic comedy, ”Anything Else,” which opens Sept. 19.