TIFF movie recut to remove actor who's a registered sex offender
Twentieth Century Fox's sequel to the iconic Predator film series is set to make its international debut tonight at Toronto's Ryerson Theatre — but not exactly as its director had originally intended.
Fox confirmed to the LA Times in an article released today, just hours before the film's TIFF premier, that a three-page scene featuring actress Olivia Munn was deleted from the movie roughly two weeks ago.
The reason? It co-starred a 47-year-old actor named Steven Wilder Striegel, a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty in 2010 to allegations of trying to lure a 14-year-old girl via the internet for sexual purposes.
Striegel, as it turns out, is a longtime friend of the sci-fi reboot's director, Shane Black (Iron Man 3, Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.)
"I personally chose to help a friend," said black in a statement to The Times. "I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly."
Breaking: Two weeks ago, @20thcenturyfox deleted a scene from "The Predator" featuring a registered sex offender, Steven Wilder Striegel. Striegel was cast by his longtime friend, director Shane Black, who has put the actor in three of his films. https://t.co/FwzmEFarU4— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) September 6, 2018
It was Munn who told studio executives about Striegel's criminal history after learning of his status as a sex offender in mid August.
Fox executives "quickly decided to excise him from the movie" after speaking with the actress, according to the Times, just a few days before locking picture on The Predator.
Striegel's website is not listed as part of the cast on TIFF's website, indicating that Toronto will see the most-recent version of the film, which features Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown, among others.
"Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired," said a Fox spokesperson in response to the controversy.
"We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors."
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