By Maureen Lee Lenker
January 13, 2021 at 08:42 PM EST
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Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Armie Hammer has bowed out of the action-comedy Shotgun Wedding shortly before filming was scheduled to begin, after becoming embroiled in a social media controversy over the weekend.

The actor was set to star opposite Jennifer Lopez in the Lionsgate movie, but allegations surfaced over the weekend that he had sent disturbing messages to various women on Instagram who said they had been in sexual relationships with him. The messages purported to have been sent by Hammer have not been verified, and he has called the allegations "bulls---."

A spokesperson for the production told EW, "Given the imminent start date of Shotgun Wedding, Armie has requested to step away from the film and we support him in his decision."

Hammer said in a statement, "I'm not responding to these bulls--- claims but in light of the vicious and spurious online attacks against me, I cannot in good conscience now leave my children for 4 months to shoot a film in the Dominican Republic. Lionsgate is supporting me in this and I'm grateful to them for that."

Directed by Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect), Shotgun Wedding follows a couple as they gather their families for a destination wedding, only to have the whole wedding party taken hostage.

EW has learned that Hammer's role will be recast, with production still expected to begin in the Dominican Republic in the weeks ahead.

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