A second controversial movie project dramatising the Christchurch mosque shootings, Hello Brother, is on hold.
Egyptian director Moez Masoud decided just nine days after the March 15, 2019, terror attacks, where 51 Muslims were murdered, that he would make a feature film based on the atrocity.
The film had a working title of Hello Brother – the words allegedly spoken to the Australian terrorist as he entered the Al Noor Mosque and began shooting.
Film crew members visited Christchurch just weeks after the attacks, meeting survivors and families of the victims.
Rick Castaneda, who co-wrote a draft script with Masoud, visited the city's two imams and attack survivors, Gamal Fouda and Alabi Lateef Zirullah, in May 2019.
When the Herald met with him at an inner city Christchurch hotel more than two years ago, Castaneda was evasive about the project.
However, he did confirm that the film would be a dramatised retelling, which he hoped would "get closer to the truth".
But now the Herald understands that the film project has been put on hold.
It's not clear whether the delay comes due to trouble getting financial backing for the project or whether it comes after the controversy surrounding another proposed March 15 film, They Are Us - a fictional account starring Hollywood star Rose Byrne as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern which has been criticised as "insensitive".
Kiwi producer Philippa Campbell pulled out of the project in June, accepting it was "too raw", with outrage coming from victims, families, and Muslims across New Zealand.
The hashtag #TheyAreUsShutdown began trending on Twitter, while a petition to shut down production gathered 60,000 signatures over three days.
Neither Hello Brother director Masoud, nor Castaneda, responded to approaches from the Herald this week.
Popular online movie information source IMDb still lists Hello Brother as being "in development".
Imam Alabi said he hasn't heard back from the movie people since he told them he's against the idea.
At the time it was announced, then Al Noor mosque spokesman Anthony Green said he found movie talk "a little bit staggering".
He had met with Castaneda and found him "sketchy" on details.
"I'm not interested in movies. The last thing I want is a Hollywood treatment or dramatisation," Green said.
"It would go against everything we're trying to do."
New Zealand filmmaker Jason Lei Howden also criticised the idea.
He hoped that if it was to be filmed in New Zealand, local crews would "refuse to work on it".
Masoud, a film producer and Cambridge scholar, said the film would follow a family "facing death and destruction in Afghanistan who escape with their lives" and come to Christchurch.
"What has happened and is happening in New Zealand is worthy of chronicle, humanitarian documentation and a communal reconsideration (of the other) away from ignorance, fanaticism and extremism, which is not exclusive to anyone," Masoud said.
"We will soon start, if God wills, the production of Hello Brother, an international film about humanity."