REACHER Star Alan Ritchson Reflects On Being Replaced By Justin Hartley In Failed AQUAMAN Pilot

Reacher and Titans star Alan Ritchson has reflected on being cast as Aquaman in Smallville, only to soon learn that he'd been replaced by Justin Hartley in the planned Mercy Reef spinoff. Check it out...

Smallville was a series that served as the big break for a lot of talented actors, including Reacher star Alan Ritchson. He played "A.C." in the show, and was introduced as that world's take on Arthur Curry/Aquaman. However, shortly after he debuted in the Superman series, news broke of an Aquaman pilot, Mercy Reef.

The show looked set to be a huge deal for Ritchson, but when the time came to shoot the first episode, he was out and Justin Hartley was in. Cast as the new Aquaman, the actor wasn't the best fit for the King of Atlantis, and the project never moved beyond the pilot stage. It all worked out okay, though, as Ritchson returned to Smallville and Hartley joined him as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow.

Talking on the Inside Of You With Michael Rosenbaum podcast (via TV Line), Ritchson was asked if he was upset at the time about (briefly) losing the role. "I wasn’t mad at all; why would I be mad? I hadn’t done anything [at that point]; Smallville was my first gig. We started working on a deal and the president of UPN was looking at this roster of shows and going, ‘Who the hell is that guy?’"

"Which is the same thing I would do!" the Reacher star added with a laugh, clearly harboring no hard feelings about what happened. "I was sitting there like, ‘I can’t believe it was this easy. I’ve been here three weeks and I’ve got my own show?' And then like a week later, 'Actually, Justin Hartley just came off [the NBC soap opera] Passions and he’s available, and we’re going to go with him.'"

"I learned the best lesson I could, early on, to hold loosely to this stuff," Ritchson continued, "because nothing is guaranteed, and nothing is owed to me. if I hadn’t learned that lesson early, I would have been an entitled a**hole."

After playing Aquaman in Smallville, the actor eventually returned to the DC Universe to play Hawk in Titans. That role was relatively short-lived, but Ritchson has now moved on to bigger and better things with Reacher, an Amazon series that was given a season 2 renewal days after debuting.

You can read our review of the first season by clicking here.

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