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Disaster Film About Jet Crash at Sea Put on Hold

HONG KONG (AP) — A disaster movie about a jet that crashes into the ocean on its way to Beijing has been put on hold because of its similarities to the missing Malaysian plane.

Arclight Films, the company behind " Deep Water ," said Wednesday that pre-production has been halted for the time being.

"We're delaying it out of respect for what's going on," Managing Director Gary Hamilton said.

An international search effort is scouring a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean for a Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysian officials said this week that the jet likely crashed in the sea, taking the lives of all 239 people on board.

"It's a pretty tragic event," Hamilton said at Hong Kong's Filmart trade show.

He played down the similarities, saying the "movie that is not actually the same, it just deals with a plane crash."

The film is about a flight from Sydney to Beijing that goes down in the ocean, leaving an air marshal and a handful of surviving passengers and crew to fight off giant tiger sharks and other dangers.

According to a synopsis of the film posted on the company's website: "As the downed aircraft takes on water with every passing second, the surviving passengers and crew must face terror beyond reckoning."

The movie is a loose follow-up to the 2012 film "Bait," about a shark terrorizing shoppers in an Australian supermarket flooded by a tsunami.

Casting information for "Deep Water" wasn't available, but "Bait" had a mostly Australian ensemble, including Julian McMahon of television's "Nip/Tuck" and Xavier Samuel , who appeared in parts of the "Twilight" franchise.

Government film agency Screen Australia was funding " Deep Water ," which was budgeted at $25 million and was to be a co-production with China, according to a report last year by Australian publication Inside Film.

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