NEW YORK (AP) – The release of “The Kite Runner” has been delayed six weeks because of fears for the safety of three of the movie’s Afghan child actors, Paramount Vantage, which is distributing the film, said Thursday.
As violence has escalated in Kabul, Afghanistan, concerns have mounted that the sexual nature of some scenes in “The Kite Runner” could prompt violence against three of the young boys starring in the film. In the film, based on the 2003 best-selling novel by Afghan-American writer Khaled Hosseini, the story’s main character witnesses the rape of his friend but does nothing to stop it.
“The Kite Runner,” originally scheduled to come out November 2, will now be released December 14 while the three boys — Zekiria Ebrahimi, Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada and Ali Danish Bakhty Ari — are removed from Kabul. It’s feared that when the film is released, pirated DVDs could spread in Kabul, where those culturally offended could react violently to seeing such a rape scene.
“The kids have been offered to come to the United States and stay out of the country for an extended period of time,” Megan Colligan, head of marketing at Paramount Vantage, told The Associated Press on Thursday.
When exactly the boys will be relocated and for how long has not yet been determined, but Colligan said it would be temporary. They may remain in Kabul until the end of their school year on December 6. They could potentially return home in March at the end of their summer vacation, once the release of “The Kite Runner” has come and gone.