Roman Polanski Drops Out of Pompeii

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Screen Daily reports that Roman Polanski will no longer direct the epic drama Pompeii due to scheduling conflicts.

The site says that the director pulled out after Summit International indicated it may have to postpone principal photography in Europe next summer due to concerns over a possible industry strike.

Summit International is selling worldwide rights and is searching for a replacement director with producers Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde.

“I put a lot of work and energy into the development of Pompeii, so it is not without regret that I have to decline my further involvement,” Polanski, whose schedule does not allow him to accommodate an uncertain start date beyond 2008, said.

“In order to ensure that a film of this calibre and scale is produced in the manner required, the producers have pushed back the film to a time that will accommodate the production needs,” Summit International chief executive officer Patrick Wachsberger said.

“We understand that Roman cannot wait indefinitely for a start date after having worked on this project for more than nine months,” Benmussa and Sarde said.

Based on Robert Harris’ novel, Pompeii centres on a young engineer caught up in political intrigue as Mount Vesuvius is about to erupt.