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The News THE STAND Fans Have Been Waiting For

The Stand is a remake that I want to happen. I’m not usually a fan of remakes but sometimes, they get it right. I think that the story for The Stand is way more fitting in this day-and-age than it was back in the the nineties when it was first released.

It’s no secret that the project has been in development-limbo for years. They knew they wanted to make the movie, but I think they underestimated exactly how much detail and plot was in the story, not to mention, the commitment that would be required for any actor or director who agreed to take-on the project.

Anyone who visits my site regularly will know that I’ve been trying to keep you all up-to-date with its progress. And every time I post about this movie on my Facebook page, there is always the same comments (from hardcore fans of the book). People always say that this film “is impossible to do without breaking it up into multiple movies.” And you know something?, there is no chance in hell that I’d argue with them because they are right!, it’s that simple.

The most recent news was that Josh Boone (Ben Affleck was previously attached) had written an impressive script that broke the story down and had a approx runtime of 3hrs. That still sounds like one hell of a film, but it still felt that the story couldn’t be told in its entirety.

I haven’t read the book, but I’ve seen the tv series, and I loved it. I actually watched the whole series again recently, and was pleasantly surprised at how well it had aged…… Ok I’ll retract that comment, Randall Flagg looked dodgy as fuck with his cowboy boots, mullet, completely suited out in his blue devil denim…. Plus… Mother Abigail is shite on the guitar… But the effects were impressive and the virus was still damn frightening!!

Josh Boone must have had one hell of a fucking script, man. Warner Bros has approached him and asked him would he do 4 films. It was reported that his 3hr feature-length was getting close to $90 million, so if they are prepared to do that that for each instalment then we could be looking at an estimated $360m project, and for a virus outbreak movie, that’s gonna be some high-end production value.

Here’s what Mr Boone said…
They came back and said “would you do it as multiple films?” and I said “fuck yes!” I loved my script, and I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version that way. So I think we are going to do like four movies. I can’t tell you anything about how we’re going to do them, or what’s going to be in which movie. I’ll just say we are going to do four movies, and we’re going to do The Stand at the highest level you can do it at, with a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds.

More to follow as it’s announced!

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FIRST LOOK AT PATRICK STEWART AS NEO-NAZI BOSS IN “GREEN ROOM” – THE NEW FILM FROM “BLUE RUIN” DIRECTOR/WRITER JEREMY SAULNIER

I think you’ll all agree with me when I say that Blue Ruin was one of the finest independent thrillers to come out in recent years. It had a superb script, a powerful lead in Macon Blair and some really solid direction, it looked fantastic, and just hit home on so many levels. It was a prime example of what can be done if you have a great script and the talent to back it.

It was announced some time ago that Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to the awesome Blue Ruin would be another thriller called Green Room.

Not an awful lot has been revealed about the story…but I can you , it’s about neo-nazis and a punk band who get trapped in a building together. By the looks of things, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to forming a band band playing on stage together. I can only imagine that’s things will get pretty fucking ugly, and a punk vs neo-nazi war will commence!

Here’s the synopsis from IMDB
A young punk rock band find themselves trapped in a secluded venue after stumbling upon a horrific act of violence.

The cast include – Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots, Anton Yelchin, Macon Blair, Mark Webber, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole

Here’s the first pic of Patrick Stewart as the neo-nazi boss.
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No doubt this is gonna be another powerful film Saulnier, and may he have many more to come.

More to follow as it’s announced.

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The Team that Brought Us Broadchurch And The Slap Are Bringing The Dead Back To Life In GLITCH

It has just been announced that an Australian mini-series has started shooting in Melbourne. The 6-part series (each episode an hour long) Will be called Glitch and it seems to something in the style of Les Revenants aka The returned. I could be completely wrong though, but one thing is for sho, this is something we’re gonna love.

The show was created by Tony Ayres (The Slap) and was developed Ayres and Louise Fox (Broadchurch)

The story will take place in a fictional town called Yoorana – here’s the low-down

“Yoorana becomes the gothic rural backdrop to a tale of love and redemption, of second chances gained and lost, of vengeance and forgiveness. As the “Risen” discover who they are and why they have returned, those around them are also faced with a perplexing new reality, challenging all the beliefs and ideals they held dear.”

This is gonna be fantastic, the team behind this have written some superior television. They have also said “this is not a vampire or zombie show,” so I’m really excited to see what we’re gonna get.

More to follow as it’s announced

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DIRECTOR OF REVENGE CLASSIC “THE HORSEMAN” WILL SHOOT NEW ALBANIAN HORROR “BLOODLANDS”

When it comes to revenge movies, I have a selected few that will remain on the top of my list, forever. One of these movies is Australian movie THE HORSEMAN.

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This film has been around since 2008 , and still stands-tall as one of the most powerfully written, effective revenge movies I’ve EVER seen..

The story of the The Horseman followed a father (played phenomenally by Peter Marshal) who is grieving the loss of his only daughter. He then receives a porn film, when he puts it on he see’s his recently deceased daughter (who is obviously drugged out of her mind), it’s quite clear that she is not participating in this movie of her own free will. The father gets angry, and very inventive with some weaponry. He sets out to find out the truth he about his daughter and to kill every bastard that was involved.

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Now the word on the street is that writer/director Steven Kastrissios has got his next movie lined up (and it’s about fucking time). It’s going to be a horror called BLOODLANDS it’s going to be about family feuds (based on true stories) and to top it off, he’s off to Albania, and will shoot with an entire Albanian cast.

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This sounds like such an intriguing plot, and being shot in its native tongue is also a bonus. I’m sick to the teeth of people releasing movies that are set in different countries, and Instead of hiring the local talent, the producers,, production companies will go with something that will make them cash (for example: DEFIANCE- not that it was a bad film but, seriously, the casting process for that movie was just shite-in-a-bucket. Every Russian/german actor must of been on holiday on the day of the casting process…. so they decided to go with the next best thing…..Daniel fucking Craig…..Don’t get me started, I nearly went off a rant there) so I hope you all know what I’m trying to say.

Stay tuned… More to follow as it’s announced.

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MOVIHOOKER’S NETFLIX PICK OF THE WEEK – VIRUNGA

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You know from the poster that this is gonna be heavy. Such a great film though, one that everyone should see.

This is new to Netflix and is produced by Mr Captain Planet himself – Leo DiCaprio – along with his production company APPIAN WAY

Documentary about a group of soldiers who protect a wildlife reserve which is home to some awesome mountain gorillas, and yes, your hearts will indeed melt.IMG_7006.JPG

Not only do they have to deal with poachers and rebels on a regular basis, an oil company called SOCO has got their sights on the area.

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A lot of footage wasshot by a very Young, courageous female journalist who deserves all sorts of awards for her involvement. Although, this is a documentary, it’s almost like you’re watching a real film – it had a solid cinematic feel to it and would remind you of greats such as – BLOOD DIAMOND, CONSTANT GARDNER or HOTEL RWANDA

If you like the movie then please post about it on your page. This is real shit, the internet is a powerful tool. We all should be naming and shaming these cruel and heartless bastards.

EASILY 10/10

#fucksoco

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MOVIEHOOKER INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL SMILEY

Michael Smiley has been appearing on our screens for years, in a vast range of TV shows, independent movies and short films. He’s also a bit of a one off in that he’s an Irish actor who isn’t compelled to hide his broad Belfast accent, instead turning it into his trademark (you’ll know Smiley if you hear him). Having originally emerged from a largely comedic background, he’s developed a reputation for his ability to switch between fierce intensity and a lighter touch. He has had appearances in cult greats such as Down Terrace & Kill List. He’s been also popping up in some of our favourite tv shows such as Doctor Who, Black Mirror, Luther and the visually stunning Utopia. He has worked with some great directors and has shared the screen with names like Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Neil Maskel, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman and Dustin Hoffman. And as his profile continues to rise, he has kindly agreed to become Moviehooker’s next interview victim. As an independent movie fiend, I’m naturally keen to find out what it’s like to be one of the most important names in independent cinema.

Ladies & Gentlemen…. Mr Michael Smiley

MH – Hi Michael, how’s it going?

MS – I’m good, I’m good, I’m good. Just finishing the kids’ dinner and I’m just about to cook something for the Mrs. It’s full on domestication in the Smiley household Big lad…. You were expecting me to say I’m just dismembering a body in the bathtub using a butter knife and a Sainsbury’s bag… well I’m doing that too. We’re having Squealin’ Fucker for Dinner.

MH – Sounds delicious!

MS – He’s the one that started it. He squealed to the Cops so I gotta get my revenge.

MH – So, good time for a couple of questions Michael?

MS – Aye, go ahead, go ahead. Don’t worry about it Big lad, I won’t bite you…. I won’t bite you but I’ll give you a nasty suck.

MH – So, you started your career as a comedian in Belfast, how and when did you get into acting?

MS – I got into Stand-Up late. I was in my late 20’s, and I was already a Da and married, with two kids – I already had a story to tell, if you know what I mean. My Stand-Up was pretty much true stories that I boiled down to make them short, fast and punchy for a drunken audience. Then, over the years I took a show up to Edinburgh called ‘Confessions of a Catholic Buddhist’ and it was pretty much the proper stories rather than jokes. Words just sort of came out. Coming from N.I and Ireland, we’re great story-tellers, so I just reverted back to the story telling side of things rather than the punchy Stand-Up side of Comedy things, you know?

I was living with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and we used to sit and tell stories to each other, when we lived together, know what I mean? I used to have them in stitches with some of mine, and they said “You should be telling them on stage”.

So that went into being my first part of a trilogy that I took up to Edinburgh and each episode of the trilogy got more play-like and a wee bit more theatrical and I played more characters and I got more in depth. So each year it went up so it was like my apprenticeship into acting.

MH – What were Simon Pegg and Nick Frost at when you were living with them?

MS – Simon was doing Stand-up and then he got a part in a tv show or Film, and he was doing some sketchshow stuff and that. So he was into the TV, Film side of stuff which is where his forte was. Nick was a Waiter, and the funniest man I’ve ever met in my life. Then Simon wrote Spaced with Jessica Stevenson, who’s now Jessica Hynes. He wrote Nick’s character and he wrote my character. My character was basically based on me really, you know? We were all living together and I used to be a courier and a mad raver and a DJ, you know, so the mood swings were already there.

MH – Like a constant beat?

MS – Life is a constant beat. Life is a repetitive beat, you know from your Mother’s womb, Son – when you got that wee umbilical cord feeding ye, all you’re hearing is that lovely little (makes bass drum sound) beat – that’s your Mother’s heartbeat, so don’t be fucking blaming it on the drug dealers, it was your Ma who started it!

So that’s how it all picked up, Spaced was my first TV spot, then it was up and running, going to auditions and still doing the Stand-up at the weekends… then slowly but surely I was doing less Stand-up and more acting.

MH – Do you miss the Stand-up?

MS – I do actually, I miss being up on stage and having the audience on the palm of my hand. I miss all that, but I don’t miss the drunken dickheads on a Friday night. I don’t miss the travelling to and from gigs. Being headliner means that you’re on at the end of the night now, which means everyone is more drunk and you’ve that to manage.

MH – So your content during Stand-up was based on Northern Ireland and so on – did that ever give you any hassle or anything?

MS – No, nobody ever bothered me about that. I got it once in Edinburgh… there was a guy out of his head… he wasn’t listening to what I was saying, he just heard the accent… a Scottish bloke just out of prison fresh from doing a twelve stretch. So, typical me, I don’t get normal hecklers, I get murderers who are out on licence taking umbrage out on me… I mean, chill out man, the voices in your head are too strong Big lad…

MH – So in Shaun of the Dead, you were a Zombie, and you played Tyres – how did that come about?

MS – Aye, what happened was that Simon and Edgar had written Shaun of the Dead and you know, I’m older than them and there wasn’t a part in it for me to fill, so I just wanted anything to get into the film for a laugh. So I said why wouldn’t I play one of the zombies, but as Tyres so all the Spaced nerds would notice me in the background… all the Spaced train spotters will have a hernia. So that’s what we did, just for a laugh really, having me wandering around in the background. But my cover was blown – because they used one of the stills as publicity in the New York Times, and I was at the very front reaching up for the camera. Then that was it, cover was blown. It was just supposed to me being a zombie, when Simon and Nick were meant to be zombies walking past the Winchester. That’s all it was.

MH – So basically your part was written for you in Spaced, and Shaun of the Dead, and Ben Wheatley has been writing parts for you since Down Terrace, isn’t it? So that must be pretty handy having all these roles written for you?

MS – Well I’m not going to complain about it. It is what it is. It’s a massive privilege. It comes with responsibilities as well, you know – Ben is a Genius, and Amy his Missus who writes with him too is Genius as well. We’re really good friends, long may it continue. I love working with him not only because he’s a brilliant director, but also that he’s a good friend. We had the short hand you don’t really have with other directors. With other directors you build a relationship over a two or three week period depending on how long you got the job for, you know? With Ben you’re constantly talking about stuff. Even when we’re not working together, we’re talking to each other on a regular basis. Also I’m big mates with Laurie Rose, DoP (Ben’s Director of Photography) and Rob Entwistle who’s the sound guy for all Ben’s stuff, and Philly Grace who does the contract side of it – then Directors like Clare and Andy – and we’re all mates – so if you’re getting a project together, it’s really easy. It’s like the Fuckin’ Blues Brothers – you’re getting the band back together again.

MH – So what about the recently announced ‘Free Fire’? You’re working with Ben Wheatley again.

MS – Yes, that will be early next year. It’s very exciting. It’s a really lovely part and I’m working with Cillian Murphy on that. I’m a big fan of his, and I’m very excited to be working with some of these big boys. Sexy stuff ya know. Luke Evans is in it, and Olivia Wilde, and Arnie Hammer – there’s some big hitters going to be in it.

MH – Are you shooting in Boston or Ireland?

MS – We don’t know yet. I don’t know where the location is, but the script is amazing.

MH – Can we expect all out action?

MS – Yeah, there’s plenty of shooting in it. There’s two IRA men (played by Smiley and Murphy ) that go to do a gun deal in Boston, and it doesn’t quite work out like that. It’s great, it’s a great script – dark and funny, that Ben’s so good at – well, It’s Amy who’s doing the co-writing while Ben is directing it. She’s an amazing writer, they’re a great double act.

MH – I’ve been following Ben Wheatley since Down Terrace which is really underappreciated. He’s almost tackling a different genre with each film.

MS – What a great film, not many people have seen that film. One of my favourites. Playing Pringle was just a joy. We shot the whole thing in 8 days. I shot my part in one day. I was on set at 8 in the morning and on the 9pm train back to London again. There’s no pattern to the different films – he’s always writing, he’s always got something on the go.

MH – you worked with Carl Tibbetts on the fantastic Black Mirror tell me about your experience x

MS – Getting that part was a real joy – I read the script and thought, Fuck, I really want this – I really want this job. It was one of those days, I went in and me and the director (Carl Tibbetts) got on really well, had a really good chat. I went away thinking, if I don’t get it, at least I didn’t make a cunt of myself and the next thing was I got the job.

MH – Have you got one memory from your whole Acting career, even from your Stand-up that you cherish more than any other?

MS – I’m very proud of my plays that I did in the 90s. But I’d say my highlight for me was winning the BIFTA Award for Kill List. That was a major highlight of my life. Nothing would have come close to that. I was in a room with incredibly well known and incredibly talented people. I was on a list with Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Eddie Marsen, then they called my name out!

MH – You deserved that, it was great!

MS – Oh that’s very kind of you. It was really beautiful to have so many good friends around me that night. To get that award with my wife and Ben there, everyone was so happy for me to get that award. When my name was called out, there was a roar, it was like I went deaf, it was like that scene in fucking Goodfellas when he’s taking her to the restaurant – people moving out of your way, just going up to the podium, luckily because I’m Stand-up, I’m able to give a decent speech – I’m used to a room of people looking at me so. It was amazing, so I’d have to say that. That was a real turning point in my life.

There was another time, when I was first doing Stand-up, and I’d done the Newcomers competition in ’93, called ‘So you think you’re funny’ and I got to the final, and it was a split decision with me and Dylan Moran. The judges were asking the audience who should win and they were shouting ‘Dylan’ and they were shouting ‘Smiley’ and I’m standing backstage with Dylan – thinking that this is it – and I could hear them shouting ‘Dylan…. Smiley, Dylan – Smiley’ and that’s my Son’s name. They were calling out my Son’s name and he was a wee boy at the time and I won. From then everything changed, nothing was going to be the same again. No more riding the bicycle Big lad.. it doesn’t feel like hard work if you’re enjoying yourself – it’s a fuckin’ proper life adventure I’m on and I’m grateful for it and I’m happy with it and I couldn’t ask for more. I’ve got some amazing memories and friends along the way – what more can you want, you know? When I came to London I was homeless and I ended up doing what I’m doing today so, I’m blessed you know – there’s a God up there blessing me.

MH – Are you still very close with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost?

MS – Yeah we’re still very close. Having the jobs we have means we don’t get to see each other so often. We catch up and go to each other’s houses for a bite to eat. Simon’s daughter is my God-daughter so her Birthday we’ll go up there, and go around and see Nick’s wee lad. We’re at the end of the phone for each other during times of grief. That’s what friends are for. Your best friends are the ones you don’t see so much. That’s how you keep your best friends, by not seeing them so much – if you’re seeing them that much they end up pissing you off. It’s about getting on with your life. We’re not wee lads, we’ve got family, we’ve got kids, we’ve got lives we’re devoted to. You don’t want to live in each other’s pockets – we’ve done that 20 years ago, you don’t keep doing that.

MH – Deadly. So independent cinema, you’re a huge name in independent cinema now with Ben Wheatley – what upcoming names should we watch out for?

MS – There’s a lot of great Directors out there, I’ve just done a film with Corin Hardy who made a Horror film, called ‘The Woods’, made in Southern Ireland. He’s brilliant, he’s very talented, he’s going to be a very big name to watch out for. It’s a proper old school horror feature film, really scary, dealing with Irish Mythology, banshees and so on. He’s an English lad. I went to meet him and he showed me his ideas and story boards. Even the art work alone shows he’s just so talented.

MH – There’s not enough Irish horror about. I’m delighted to hear this.

MS – There’s another guy out there called Jack Weatherly who I really rate. I did a short film with him as well called ‘Pieces’ with Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones), Tanya Franks (Pulling) and George McKay (For those in Peril). It’s a really harrowing short film, looking to turn it into a feature film.

And of course there’s Paul Wright, who had done ‘For those in Peril’ (WARP) with – and I’ve done a new short film with him called ‘Believe’. He’s an incredibly talented man, Scottish. There’s a lot of them out there that are really doing something very different and unique. So watch out for all them.

Another name to watch out for is Nick Rowland. I’ve just done a short film with him about Rally cars and he’s a talent as well to look out for.

I really appreciate the time that Michael took to answer my questions. As an actual fan, it was great to hear all this information straight for the horses mouth. He was such a nice guy to chat with and he was more than happy to answer my questions.

Hope you enjoyed reading.

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New French/Belgian Horror To Look Out For

1: CUB (Welp)
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Been looking forward to seeing this for quite some time. I’ve seen a trailer, and I was really impressed, but I had no idea what they were saying as there was no subs. I don’t mind though, it still felt extremely atmospheric and creepy.

The story seems to be about a group of cub-scouts who are out camping. They all seem to be quite young, definitely not older than 15 yrs of age. Anyways, they’re doing what cub-scouts do, dressed in uniform, singing songs by a campfire, eating marshmallows and telling each other scary stories.

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What they don’t realise, is that it’s more than likely their last night on earth. Some mad little jungle-kid is watching their every move, he is like a demented version of Mowgli from The Jungle Book. The kid has obviously had no contact with the outside world. He was probably brought up with a pack of wolves, his hands look pretty fucking strange, so he could be love child of some horny old man and a wolf, who knows? Growing up in the woods or jungle obviously has it’s benefits, I’m pretty sure the CUB got some pretty impressive jungle DIY weaponry. One thing is clear, he’s planning to take-down every single one of them.

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I’m pretty sure this is the first feature length from writer/director Jonas Govaerts. The reviews have been really good so far, and this being Belgian/French, I’m hoping it’s gonna be pretty damn hardcore.

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9: ALLELUIA (from a previous post)
New film from acclaimed director Fabrice du Welz. Another man who I’m a huge fan of and is responsible for one of my favourite horror/survival/hillbilly movies CALVAIRE. When I first heard that he was back on the scene with a new movie, I just knew we were in for something special.

This film has cleaned up at any festivals that it has played in. Winning awards all across the board like Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director…. the list goes on.

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Another film that I purposely know nothing about. I can tell you that’s it’s based on a true story of real-life serial-killers who were known as The Honeymoon Killers. Personally, I’ve never even heard of them, and although, I wanna google the shit out them, I’m gonna resist and leave it up to Fabrice du Weiz to tell me this tale of terror.

Years back when I first seen his film CALVAIRE, I was blown away by how different he made a very similar premise feel. He took your basic survival horror which at-the-time was overpopulated with a about 50 Wrong Turn movies releasing each year. The film wasn’t insanely gruesome but it most definitely hit a nerve. It also features one of the most fucked up pieces of piano music that I’ve ever heard.

3: AMONG THE LIVING

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This is the third instalment from the guys who brought us INSIDE and LIVIDE. The film was listed for released in 2013, which will give you a rough estimate on how long I’ve been following the fucking thing. If a movie is down for release in 2013, And I’ve got my sights on it, then you can be certain that I’ve been following this the film since early pre-production. Sometimes the wait is almost unbearable, and then to tops it off, I live in fucking Ireland, and the chance of us getting to see any sort of french horror on the big-screen is almost non-existent.

I’m a huge fan of these guys, these dudes played a huge part in restoring my faith in the horror genre. The main thing that attracted me to the film was the cast. They seem to have an all-child cast, I’m not sure how the story will unfold. Maybe they are just young at the start and then the story will fast-forward to when they are adults. I’m not sure, and I’d like to leave that element of surprise until I watch it. Having a bunch of kids fight for survival against some deranged serial-killer sounds great, and I don’t think I’ve seen it in the horror genre before. I am almost certain that this film will be just as brutal as INSIDE and LIVIDE. I just feel ashamed that I haven’t got round to seeing it yet.

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I also wrote a little about their next project in one of my previous posts if you want to check it out. They are apparently the guys who will bring us THE TEXAS CHAINSAW prequel LEATHERFACE. I also didn’t know, but I wrote a little about how I compare them to Martyrs director Pascal Laugier. I wasn’t aware that they were also offered the HELLRAISER reboot. I was delighted to learn that they left the project for the exact same reasons Laugier did… creative differences with the production companies.

I salute you gentlemen.