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Wednesday, 8 November, 2000, 16:19 GMT
Spielberg 'ditches' Anne Frank series
Steven Spielberg with wife Kate Capshaw
Oscar-winning director Spielberg will honour Anne Frank's memory
Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has pulled out of plans to produce a television series based on the life of Holocaust victim Anne Frank, it has been reported.

Spielberg ditched the project after a relative of the Jewish teenager appealed to the award-winning director, the Daily Express has said.

Buddy Elias, a cousin and the last surviving relative of Anne Frank, wrote to Spielberg claiming the series was not based on an authorised account of the teenager's life.

But ABC, the American TV network behind the project, was quoted as saying the series would go ahead as planned without Spielberg on board.

Anne Frank
Famous diarist Anne Frank hid from Nazi persecution

Steven Spielberg announced in May that he had accepted the role of executive producer for the ABC mini-series.

The project was originally intended to be a film, but has since developed into a four-hour series.

The series is currently being shot on location in Prague and is scheduled for broadcast at the end of next summer.

"The film will still go ahead, but Steven will not be involved," a UK spokesman for Spielberg told the paper.

"He did not want to do anything that would upset a relative of Anne Frank or do anything to harm her memory."

Supporting role

The Diary of Anne Frank is the work of a Jewish teenager who hid with her family in an attic in Amsterdam for two years, before being betrayed and dying in Belsen concentration camp at the age of 15.

He did not want to do anything that would upset a relative of Anne Frank

Spielberg spokesman

Spielberg, who won a best director Oscar for the Holocaust film Schindler's List, donated 160,000 to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam in 1994.

The 52-year-old filmmaker is also chairman of the Anne Frank Foundation, which has signed a separate agreement with 20th Century Fox to turn Anne's story into a film.

The diaries will be adapted for the big screen by Alfred Uhry, who wrote the Oscar-winning Driving Miss Daisy starring Jessica Tandy.

See also:

14 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Remember Holocaust says Williams
05 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Britain honours movie king
21 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Spielberg and Scorsese 'form dream team'
23 Oct 00 | UK
Holocaust memorial online
28 Aug 00 | Entertainment
BBC buys Spielberg war drama
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