The Human Centipede 3: stopped in its tracks
Filming on the third instalment of the controversial horror series is delayed as director Tom Six and star Dieter Laser argue over the script
Catherine Shoard; guardian.co.uk, Monday 2 April 2012 12.47 BST
As those who've seen the first two instalments in Tom Six's horror series will know, there isn't much wriggle room in The Human Centipede. And so it seems to be proving behind the scenes, too, with an impasse between Six and actor Dieter Laser threatening to hold up filming on the third film in the franchise, which had been scheduled to start in June.
Laser had long been rumoured to return in the new film, reprising his role as the dastardly doctor who first has a crack at sewing together three kidnap victims mouth-to-anus, despite his character receiving a bullet to the head in the first film's final reel. The fate of his opposite number in the second film, however, was less ambiguous: Laurence Harvey's obese car-park attendant, an avid fan of the first film, who successfully cobbled together a dozen-strong tribute centipede, was last seen alive and well – he, too, will return for the final film.
But an email sent by producer Ilona Six to bestmoviesevernews.com suggest that last-minute objections by Laser to the script are so severe as to not only push back the shoot but also prompt the producers to begin legal action against him. Six wrote:
Because of the success of The Human Centipede, it seems that Mr Dieter Laser's ego has grown to laughably big proportions. First signing the contract and rating the THC3 script as fantastic, and then demanding his own unacceptable script changes, and now refusing to play the part only seven weeks prior to shooting. Six Entertainment Company will start legal action against Dieter Laser. Tom Six says not to worry – principal photography will be postponed and will take place later this year.
The actor then hit back with his own clarification of the wrangle, which he blames on late delivery of a script he felt bore little relation to the plot as earlier outlined. As a "method actor" Laser describes his difficulties swallowing a premise he felt inconsistent with his character's personality. Laser said:
It's very simple: I loved the story when it was told, got the contract and the promise to have the script in four-to-six weeks. When it arrived – half a year later and only after the official announcement – I didn't like the realization at all, couldn't identify with the character the way it was written and developed immediately and enthusiastically in a day and night marathon a version full of concrete and practical suggestions which would enable me to play the lead full throttle – same procedure as with Dr Heiter – but this time it also would have had some unavoidable effects to the dramatic structure. That was too much for Tom and since he couldn't live with my suggestions and I, as a method actor, couldn't identify with his version, I told him that I couldn't see any other way than that he would have to "change horses". That's it.
Plot details of the new film are still uncertain, but a tweet from Tom Six earlier this year suggested that he might extend the number of people in the chain to more than 500.