Polanski Abandons 'Pompeii'

by Paul William Tenny

Wanted fugitive Roman Polanski has apparently abandoned would-be epic Pompeii over fears of a collective strike by the Writers Guild of America, and the Screen Actors Guild in 2008. According to Variety, Polanski's renegging has placed the project's chances of getting made deep in jeopardy.

The decision to put "Pompeii" on ice was taken "in the past 48 hours," the producer asserted. "We've been meeting agents and they've all said they can't commit beyond June 30, 2008 because of the strike. Unfortunately, we are scheduled to shoot in Southern Italy in August 2008."

Pathe and RAI Cinema both confirmed Tuesday that they were exiting the project. A RAI Cinema rep said: "The contract we had for Pompeii is no longer valid, as it was tied to Polanski being attached to direct. If we are offered another director, then we shall see. But as things stand we are no longer on board."
Pompeii figured to be a big budget disaster thriller that was well into preproduction, however, the possibility of a strike by either the WGA or SAG is anything but certain, calling into question the true motives for Polanski pulling out. Roman Polanski is a convicted pedophile that is wanted in the United States for the 1978 statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.


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