Katherine Heigl has hit another stumbling block on her way to movie stardom. Sources say the actress, whose just-concluded season on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” might have been her last, was dropped from a top-tier ensemble cast in the upcoming romantic comedy “Valentine’s Day” because she demanded an astronomical salary.
The flick, which is scheduled to be released in February 2011, is directed by Garry Marshall and has signed such big names as Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Shirley MacLaine and Bradley Cooper.
An insider told Page Six, “Producers at New Line originally had Katherine on their casting list. They wanted her for the project, but during the talks, she came back demanding $3 million for the role.”
Our source calls that number “ridiculous” because the movie has “an ensemble cast where there is really no one lead role. Actors are only filming between three and 14 days, and no other actors asked for nearly that amount.”
A rep for Heigl told Page Six, “The story is ludicrous. Early negotiations are a daily occurrence in this business, and just for clarification, Katherine walked away from this project for multiple reasons.” A spokeswoman for New Line had “no comment.”
It’s not the first time Heigl has come across as a diva. In 2007, after “Knocked Up,” she told Vanity Fair the Judd Apatow-directed movie “paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. I had a hard time with it on some days.”
She also caused a commotion when she withdrew her name from consideration for last year’s Emmy race, slighting the “Grey’s Anatomy” writers by saying, “I do not feel I was given the material this season to warrant a nomination.” Heigl, whose character was dying of brain cancer, did enter herself in this year’s awards nominations.