Drop The Dead Donkey

John C Reilly quits Von Trier film

by empire |
Published on

John C Reilly has apparently walked off the set of Lars Von Trier's Manderlay, after a donkey was killed onset. Entertainment Weekly reported that the star was horrified by the killing, and left, with his part being filled by Slovenian actor Zelijko Ivanek. Manderlay is Von Trier's sequel to Dogville, and the second part in his American trilogy set in 1930s America. This episode is set in the Deep South, and explores America's treatment of its black citizens in the aftermath of slavery but prior to the civil rights campaign. Original star Nicole Kidman left due to scheduling conflicts, and has been replaced by Bryce Howard (The Village). The scene which so offended Mr Reilly involved the animal being slaughtered for food, but producers were keen to emphasise that this was an old, sick donkey, which was killed in a humane way under the supervision of on set vets. "Everything went by the book and the entire process was monitored by a veterinarian. We were very conscientious about that, because we didn't want 70,000 American animal rights groups on our back." Donkey euthanasia? Dear oh dear. The producer was also quoted as saying, "We could probably kill six children for a film without anyone raising a fuss." Empire's contacts at the NSPCC have suggested otherwise, so we would advise all involved in Manderlay to take legal advice, and perhaps consider test screenings, before taking any such step.

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