CW Throws Back Its 'Aquaman' Star

First, former "American Idol" contestant Alan Ritchson tried his hand at playing Aquaman on TV. Then Will Toale took the part after The WB announced it was developing a series based on the DC Comics character.

Now that the pilot is under the auspices of The CW, which will replace The WB and UPN in the fall, a third actor has taken over the role. (Where's "Entourage's" Vince Chase when you need him?)

Justin Hartley, who until recently was a regular on NBC's soap opera "Passions," will now play Arthur "A.C." Curry in the show, which comes from "Smallville" creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. The casting change came about after the pilot moved under the auspices of The CW, a joint venture between Warner Bros. (whose TV-studio arm is producing the pilot) and CBS Corp.

"Will is a talented actor with a promising career, and we hope to work with him in the future," a CW rep tells The Hollywood Reporter. "We have made a decision to go in a different direction with the Aquaman role and wish him the best of luck."

Hartley has more on-camera experience than Toale, having played Nicholas Foxworth Crane on "Passions" for three-plus years beginning in 2002. He earned a Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for his work last year. Toale's previous credits include cameo in the feature film "Uptown Girls" and the 2004 TV movie "Tempting Adam"; he also appeared in "A Streetcar Named Desire" on Broadway. Ritchson played Aquaman in a "Smallville" episode earlier this season.

Earlier this week, Ving Rhames ("Mission: Impossible III") and former Miss Universe Denise Quinones were added to the pilot, which will follow a twentysomething Curry as he begins to discover his true heritage.

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