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Wicker Man sequel goes up in smoke

'Financing problems' hit Cowboys For Christ

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In a major blow for the UK film industry and fans of 1973 cult movie The Wicker Man, a planned sequel to the virgin-roasting horror classic has been cancelled due to "financing problems".

The film, entitled Cowboys For Christ, was to have been directed by original helmsman Robin Hardy, based on his 2006 novel of the same name. Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee were on board for the film, slated to start production in Dumfries and Galloway on 10 April.

Lee recently enthused on his planned role as the "genial laird" who hosts a gospel singer and her cowboy friend who "set off from Texas to enlighten Scottish heathens about the ways of Christ": "The reason I want to work again with Robin is because he has written a book that is erotic, romantic, comic and horrific enough to loosen the bowels of a bronze statue."

Sadly, we may never know the bowel-loosening potential of Cowboys for Christ. According to the BBC, Dumfries and Galloway council has issued a statement confirming producers had "cancelled the shoot due to last minute difficulties with finance".

Councillor Gill Dykes correctly described the news as "bitterly disappointing" and said the decision would have "a severe financial impact".

She explained: "The company were about to start casting for extras and around 90 crew and cast were booked into local accommodation for a four week period. This is a big blow to them."

Dykes concluded: "We will maintain contact with this interesting project and I can only hope we'll be top of their location list if the financial problems get resolved." ®

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