The Timaru Herald says no official announcements have been made yet, but “moteliers in Twizel have had bookings cancelled and an email received by them this week said the movie was no longer going ahead.”
The production company is believed to have spent several million dollars on the film already, constructing replicas of Capernaum and other first-century settings in Wellington and other New Zealand locations; but the work was put on hold before Christmas so that the filmmakers could focus on securing the movie’s financing and distribution.
The producers have since insisted that they plan to get things rolling again, but some crew members are doubtful about that, and a number of them have already moved on to other jobs.
FEB 27 UPDATE: The Dominion Post reports that the filmmakers are still insisting that their movie will go ahead; they expect to secure bridge financing within two weeks, and they plan to resume pre-production in March for a start date in April.
Darryl Ware, who has worked as an extra in other movies, said he had never seen filmmakers be so bad at communicating with their cast and crew: “It’s like waiting for the second coming.”