Too Real

Missing Jet Halts a Horror Movie About a Plane Crash and Sharks


The mysterious disappearance of a Malaysian Airlines flight has halted production of a film whose plot uncomfortable mirrors the tragedy. The film, Deep Water, was to depict a flight from Beijing to Sydney that crash lands in a remote section of the sea, leaving the survivors to endure tiger shark attacks.

The $25 million project from Arclight Films was in preproduction in Australia at the time of Flight 370′s disappearance earlier this month. Deep Water was designed as a loose sequel to the 2012 horror film Bait, which was made for less than $1 million and became a box office success in China and parts of Europe. The first film told the story of tsunami-trapped shoppers in an Australia supermarket and their harrowing encounters with a 12-foot great white shark.

The Deep Water production hiatus was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter. Producers didn’t immediately comment on Wednesday.

The recent incident isn’t the first time a real-life tragedy has disrupted the plans of the entertainment industry. A mass shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater caused Warner Bros. (TWX) to pull trailers for its upcoming film, Gangster Squad, starring Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin. One scene in the 2012 film shows mobsters firing into a movie theater. The studio also canceled the Paris premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, which was to have been the same day as the Colorado shooting, which occurred during a midnight screening of the film.

In 2002, meanwhile, Sony Pictures (SNE) altered its trailer for Spider-Man because of a scene showing a helicopter snared in a spider web that the action hero had spun between the World Trade Center towers, which had been destroyed seven months earlier in the terrorist attacks.

Bachman is an associate editor for Businessweek.com.

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