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Thursday September 13, 2007 8:31 pm

Affleck’s Directorial Debut Overshadowed by Missing Girl

Madeleine McCannDespite some great early buzz, Ben Affleck’s directorial debut will be taking a backseat to international news.

The actor, who’s been fairly quiet since his Golden Globe-nominated turn in Hollywoodland (and a small role in Smokin’ Aces), has been focusing his energy lately behind the camera.  His upcoming project, Gone Baby Gone, centers around the disappearance of a 4-year-old girl.  The story, based on a novel by Dennis Lehane (Mystic River), features Ben’s brother (Casey) and an impressive list of veteran actors (Ed Harris, Amy Madigan and Morgan Freeman). 

Gone—which was recently dubbed ‘one of the top crime movies this decade’ by Reuters—had been scheduled to debut at the Times London Film Festival on Oct. 26.  Unfortunately, the film will now be indefinitely shelved in the U.K.  The storyline, which bears an uneasy similarity to the disappearance of 4-year-old Madeleline McCann, hits too close to home for the country.  Additionally, the film’s actress (also named Madeline) bears a resemblance to McCann.

The British girl’s story has been heard around the world for months now.  Her parents reported her missing on May 3 while they were on a family trip in Portugal.  They claimed she was abducted from her bed while they were nearby eating dinner.  But an interesting turn of events now has the media spotlight focused on Gerry and Kate McCann.  The worried parents have now been named suspects by the Portugese authorities.  It’s unclear whether this recent development had anything to do with the film’s last-minute delay.

As for the US distribution,  Gone Baby Gone is still scheduled for release on Oct. 19th.

Read More | Variety

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