Phone Booth has been disconnected indefinitely.
On the heels of continued sniper attacks on the citizens of Washington, D.C., 20th Century Fox has decided to yank the thriller from its upcoming November 15 release date, Hollywood trade Daily Variety reports.
The film, starring Colin Farrell and Kiefer Sutherland, chronicles the heart-pounding day of a man trapped in a phone booth at the mercy of a crazed sniper.
As the real-life attacks continue to terrify the nation, studio execs decided the movie was just a little too close for comfort for potential theatergoers."In light of recent events, we are delaying the release of Phone Booth," studio publicist Flo Grace told Daily Variety.
A new release date has not been set, but sources within the studio speculated the $12 million flick may bow in the spring.To date, the D.C. sniper has murdered nine people and injured two others in Maryland, Virginia and the District since beginning his shooting spree on October 2. So far, police have no suspects in custody, but the FBI and the military have been enlisted to track down the killer.
In the movie, the sniper keeps a randomly selected Farrell in his crosshairs and targets innocent citizens with his bullets. Officials believe the D.C. sniper is also targeting innocent citizens and selecting his victims at random. Filmmakers say they are shocked by the frightening similarities to the film.
"It?s one of those coincidences that almost never happen. You don?t want it to happen in your movie, and you don?t want it to happen to real people," screenwriter Larry Cohen told the Washington Post. "I thought it would be far above any possible imitation in life. And yet nothing is too far-fetched today."For now, the movie studio is well advised to pull the plug on Phone Booth, particularly considering recent precedent. Movies uncomfortably close to real-life tragedies have not fared well of late. Trapped, a kidnapping thriller starring Kevin Bacon and Charlize Theron, bombed at the box office following a summer of high-profile kidnappings. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Collateral Damage, about a terrorist bombing, and Disney's Big Trouble, a comedy featuring a scene with a nuclear bomb aboard an airliner, also tanked.
Theatergoers hoping for an exciting November 15 movie weekend need not fret, however, in spite of the absence of Phone Booth. That weekend marks the release of the highly anticipated Harry Potter sequel Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Experts predict the fantasy flick will crush the competition and bring movie lovers to theaters in droves.