The U.K. release of Ben Affleck's directorial debut Gone Baby Gone has been put on hold, owing to its similarities to the real-life case of Madeleine McCann, who went missing in May in Portugal.
The drama, which revolves around an abducted child, was scheduled to premiere next month at the London Film Festival before going into general release on Dec. 28.
It was withdrawn by the local distribution arm of Walt Disney Co. "We have been closely following the case and have decided to delay the release of the film in the U.K.," said a spokeswoman for Buena Vista International U.K. Festival artistic director Sandra Hebron said the withdrawl was done for "the right reasons."
Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane ("Mystic River"), the film tells the story of two private investigators seeking an abducted four-year-old girl in the seamy underbelly of Boston. Its North American release is set for October 19.
The McCann case has been dominating world headlines, especially since the parents of the missing girl have been named by Portuguese police as prime suspects. Kate and Gerry McCann, who have been spearheading an international public relations campaign for the return of their daughter, may reportedly be charged at any time by Portuguese authorities.
The McCanns, who flew back to the U.K. on September 9, may be required to return to Portugal. Madeleine was days short of her fourth birthday when she was reported missing on May 3. Her parents have said that they left her unsupervised in a ground floor bedroom with her two-year-old twin siblings while they ate at a restaurant 120 meters away.