Paul Bettany Pulls Out of Showtime Pilot ‘Masters of Sex’

Paul Bettany. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

By Tim Kenneally at TheWrap

Paul Bettany has decided to employ the withdrawal method on Showtime‘s upcoming pilot “Masters of Sex.”

The “A Beautiful Mind” star has bowed out of the pilot, which would have seen Bettany play sex-research pioneer William Masters, an individual with knowledge of the situation confirms to TheWrap. The pilot would have been Bettany’s first effort to penetrate the American TV-series market.

It is not yet known why Bettany bowed out of the pilot. However, his departure has created difficulty for the production on multiple fronts, as he had input as to who would play the lead female role of Virginia Johnson.

Based on the Thomas Maier book “Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love,” the Showtime pilot was written by “The Pacific” writer-producer Michelle Ashford. Sarah Timberman and Carly Beverly (“Justified,” “A Gifted Man“) are executive-producing via their Timberman-Beverly Productions, with the pilot being produced by Sony Pictures Television.

No word on who might be in the running to replace Bettany.

Showtime declined to comment on the story. A spokesperson for Bettany has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Deadline first reported the news.

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