The 40th International Film Festival Rotterdam has moved quickly to plug the hole left in its schedule by the surprise last-minute withdrawal of The King’s Speech as closing film on Feb 5.

The title chosen to fill the gap is of David O’Russell’s multiple Oscar nominee The Fighter.

“We had a call last Thursday from the festival director saying that he had a problem – he had lost The King’s Speech. We thought The Fighter was a good option,” commented Wilco Wolfers, Managing- Director of A-Film (which is releasing The Fighter in the Netherlands on March 24.)

No talent from the film will be in attendance at Rotterdam. However, A-Film clearly see the closing night slot as a way to “platform” the film in advance of its Dutch release.

The King’s Speech was withdrawn from the festival when distributors Paradiso realised that The Weinstein Company would not give permission for it to be shown.

Prior to the screening of The Fighter,  the IFFR will announce the winners of the UPC Audience Award (Best Festival Film 2011) and the Dioraphte Award (Best Hubert Bals Fund Supported Film 2011) as the results of audience votes.

The festival opens tomorrow (Jan 26) with the world premiere of Greek movie Wasted Youth, the second feature from director Argyris Papadimitropoulos.