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Affleck Delays Film Over Madeleine

Original Source: SKY: 13 SEPTEMBER 2007
 By Alex Watts
Sky News Online Updated: 13:08, Thursday September 13, 2007
Ben Affleck has delayed the release of his new film - because of the "depth of feeling" over the Madeleine McCann case.

The Hollywood star's directorial debut Gone Baby Gone has striking similarities to the four-year-old's disappearance in Portugal.

Distributor Buena Vista International has now shelved the thriller in the UK because of fears of a backlash.

It tells the story of a four-year-old girl who is abducted from her bed after her mother leaves her alone in the house.

The child actress playing the role, Madeline O'Brien, not only shares her first name with Madeleine McCann, but is even said to look like the missing girl.

Madeleine McCann, also four, vanished from a holiday apartment in the Algarve on May 3 while her parents ate at a nearby tapas restaurant.

A spokesman for Buena Vista International confirmed: "We are sensitive to the depth of feeling surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

"We have been carefully following the case and have decided to delay the release of the film in the UK."

Affleck told reporters: "We don't want to release the movie if it is going to touch a nerve or inflame anybody's sensitivities."

His film had been scheduled for UK release in December.

Sky News' showbiz writer Neil Sean, who interviewed the star about his directorial debut, said: "He told me he'd suffered problems with the film because of the sensitivity of the story.

"And that was before the Madeleine McCann case. So it'd be almost impossible now because of the backlash it'd get.

"It would be horrendous if he put it out! I think it will go to DVD and go out on selective release."

In the thriller, two detectives - played by Affleck's younger brother Casey and Michelle Monaghan - search for the abducted girl after she vanishes in Boston.

Morgan Freeman and Ed Harris also star in the flick, which was produced, directed and co-written by Affleck.

The story is an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel, who wrote Mystic River.

Affleck and Matt Damon won an Oscar in 1998 for writing Good Will Hunting.

Photographs of Madeline O'Brien


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