Plane crash film shelved over likeness to MH370

By Adam Withnall

Australian film 'Deep Water' has been put on hold due to its similarities to the fate of Malaysia Airlines 370. Photo / file
Australian film 'Deep Water' has been put on hold due to its similarities to the fate of Malaysia Airlines 370. Photo / file

An Australian flight disaster movie has been put on hold in the wake of tragic news about Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Alister Grierson's Deep Water, a vague sequel to shark-horror film Bait 3D, follows the story of a doomed flight that crashes into remote depths of the ocean en route to China.

A brief synopsis in early promotional material reads: "Survivors of a plane crash face terror beyond reckoning as the plane is starting to sink into a bottomless abyss, and soon discover they're surrounded by the deadliest natural born killers on earth."

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was today believed "lost with no survivors" after first disappearing on 8 March less than an hour after take-off from Kuala Lumpur. Bound for Beijing, the ill-fated plane was carrying 239 people, and it is still unknown what caused it to divert from its path.

"Out of sensitivity to the Malaysia flight situation, we've decided to put (Deep Water) on pause for now," Gary Hamilton, managing director of Arclight Films, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Prior to the earlier announcement about MH370's fate, Grierson said: "The similarities and timing is interesting and I can see anecdotally the two things link up, it's a tricky thing."

A sequel to the film Bait 3D, pictured, called Deep Water has been shelved over its likeness to the Malaysia Airlines flight disaster.
A sequel to the film Bait 3D, pictured, called Deep Water has been shelved over its likeness to the Malaysia Airlines flight disaster.

However, he then added that the film's plotline is more detailed than the bare bones might suggest. "Deep Water is about an accident that happens on an airplane which goes down in the ocean, and the survivors trying to stay alive afterwards.

"It's more complicated than that as there's villains and sharks, but it's a fun action/adventure with thrills and spills and scares. Nobody knows what has happened with the Malaysian airplane. We're yet to find out whether it will be revealed as a malfunction or even found."

Grierson confirmed that Deep Water is scheduled for release in about two years, when there would be less of a clash with real life events. Pre-production began shortly before MH370 went missing.

Grierson's 2011 hit Sanctum, about a nightmare underwater caving expedition, was scheduled for release two weeks after Australia suffered disastrous flooding.

"The floods came through and destroyed whole areas with people losing their lives," he said at the time. "We had this weird situation where we were about to release a film where there's flooding and people drown. It was a strange territory."

Promotion for Vincent Zhou's Last Flight, starring Ed Westwick and Zhu Zhu, has also been affected by the recent Malaysian catastrophe.

The 3D action thriller involves a Boeing 747 that faces "unusual events" while travelling to a secluded Pacific island.

Last Flight's planned Beijing premiere on 21 March was cancelled by the film's producer and distributor Shanghai Media group, as many of MH370's passengers were from the city.

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