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Missing girl bumps UK debut of Affleck film
LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - The U.K. release of Ben Affleck's directing debut, "Gone Baby Gone," has been put on hold because of similarities to the real-life case of Madeleine McCann, who went missing in May in Portugal.
The drama was scheduled to makes its U.K. premiere next month at the London Film Festival, but it was withdrawn by the local distribution arm of Walt Disney Co.
"We have been closely following the case and have decided to delay the release of the film in the U.K.," said a spokeswoman for Buena Vista International U.K.
The festival's artistic director, Sandra Hebron, said the withdrawal was done for "the right reasons."
Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane ("Mystic River"), the film tells the story of two private investigators hunting for an abducted 4-year-old girl in the seamiest side of Boston's underworld. Its North American release is set for October 19.
The McCann case has been dominating news programming and headlines not just in the U.K. but also around the world -- particularly because the parents of the missing toddler have been named by Portuguese police as prime suspects. According to news reports, the McCann parents, who led an international public relations campaign appealing for the return of the missing child, could be charged in connection with the disappearance at any time by Portuguese authorities. They recently returned home to the U.K., but they could be required to return to Portugal. Their daughter went missing from a holiday hotel bedroom when the parents were out to dinner during a vacation in Portugal.
The festival kicks off October 17 with Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg's London-set Russian gangster film "Eastern Promises," and closes November 1 with Wes Anderson's brotherly surreal romp "The Darjeeling Limited."
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