Terror Fears Keep Leo Out of Morocco
05/23/2003 AT 11:39 AM EDT
A longtime favorite Hollywood location, the northwestern African country has been rocked by suicide bombings in the coastal city of Casablanca that have killed 41 people.
The film, from "Moulin Rouge" director Baz Luhrmann and starring the "Catch Me If You Can" heartthrob, is in hot competition with another biopic of Alexander, starring Colin Farrell and directed by Oliver Stone, which is also in the works.
But Dino De Laurentiis, producer for the Luhrmann film, said continued work on the movie had become too dangerous. "Unless the situation changes in five or six months, any important American actor could be a target," he said. "That's a risk I cannot take."
This isn't the first film to bow out of the country, which was the backdrop for such blockbusters as Russell Crowe's Oscar-winning "Gladiator" as well as "Black Hawk Down." In April, director Wolfgang Petersen halted production of the Greek epic "Troy," which will star Brad Pitt as the Greek hero Achilles.