River Queen directorof photography Alun Bollinger has stepped up to replace director Vincent Wardon the UK/New Zealand co-production, which is on track to complete principalphotography in late November.

Bollinger has had a chequered history with River Queen himself, relinquishing his role to John Cavillbecause of a back injury before Samantha Morton's illness temporarilyshut down the production in early August. His credits as a cinematographerinclude Peter Jackson's films Heavenly Creatures and The Frighteners and, more recently, Perfect Strangers and The Oyster Farmer.

Ward was abruptly removed from River Queen late last month. A statement issued on Friday (Nov5) by the producers Don Reynolds and Chris Auty also sought to clarify who madethe "difficult and necessary decision to release the director VincentWard". It was made, they said, by both the completion guarantor FilmFinances and the producers.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank ourcast for their patience and professionalism during what was a very difficulttime. We have the continued support of our NZ crew and investors and we lookforward to the completion of a magnificent film starring Samantha Morton,Kiefer Sutherland, Cliff Curtis, Stephen Rea and Temuera Morrison."

The Works is handling worldwide sales - except Japan and Asia, which are NZ Film's domain - for the SilverscreenFilms/The Film Consortium picture about a young Irish woman who finds herselfwith family on both sides during the turbulent wars between Europeans and Maoriin 1860s New Zealand. 20th Century Fox has already bought Australian, NZ and UKrights.

Ward wrote the script with Toa Fraser. His previousdirecting credits are What Dreams May Come, Map Of The Human Heart, TheNavigator and Vigil.