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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 07:25 GMT 08:25 UK
Movie falls victim to sniper
Colin Farrell in Phone Booth
Phone Booth stars Irish actor Colin Farrell
The release of a Hollywood film about a sniper on the loose in the United States has been postponed due to similarities with recent attacks in Washington.

The movie, Phone Booth, sees a sniper target a stranger who answers a ringing telephone on a New York street.

Colin Farrell in Phone Booth
The film's writer says "a movie is meaningless"
But the plot has striking similarities with the way a sniper has killed nine people, apparently at random.

"In light of recent events, we are delaying the release of Phone Booth," Flo Grace, a spokeswoman for the Twentieth Century Fox film studio said.

A new release date has not been set.

The movie's writer, Larry Cohen, has said he did not want it to cause any pain to the families of the real sniper's victims.

"A movie is meaningless compared to the reality of what's going on," he said recently.

Phone Booth features 24 star Kiefer Sutherland as the caller and Irish actor Colin Farrell as the New York publicist who takes the call in the phone booth.

He is told he will be killed if he hangs up, and sees the sniper's red laser rifle sight but cannot see the sniper.

Terrorist

Another film with a similar theme, Interview with the Assassin, about an ex-marine who claims to have shot President Kennedy, will be released in November as planned.

Hollywood has previously been forced to postpone other movie releases in the wake of real events.

The last film by Phone Booth director Joel Schumacher, terrorist thriller Bad Company, was put back after 11 September.

An Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie, Collateral Damage - in which the main character's wife was killed by a terrorist bomb - was also postponed.

More recently, the film Trapped, about the kidnapping of a young girl, was delayed after a spate of child abductions across the country.


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