John Hurt will not appear in the Joe Wright film Darkest Hour, what was widely thought to have been his final film.
The actor, who died at the age of 77 in January, was believed to have filmed a role as British prime minister Neville Chamberlain alongside Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in a biopic of the latter, but Oldman has since revealed that wasn’t the case.
He said (via Yahoo): “He wasn’t in it. Sadly, John never made it to the read-through. He was going through some treatment.”
Hurt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2015, and died at his home in Cromer, Norfolk just days after his 77th birthday.
Oldman added that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel‘s Ronald Pickup ended up taking over the role instead, a detail confirmed by producers Focus Features shortly after.
Oldman and Hurt had previously collaborated on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and had both appeared in the final Harry Potter film.
(Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour)
Oldman conitinued: “I adored John, and I had worked with him before, and was just thrilled to do it again with him, especially with Churchill and Chamberlain. But he was sick. He was too sick.”
According to IMDb, there are three more films featuring John Hurt yet to be released: a lead role as a terminally ill screenwriter in That Good Night, a supporting part in the thriller Damascus Cover alongside Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Olivia Thirlby, and a part in the biopic of British boxer Lenny McLean, called My Name is Lenny.
Darkest Hour is due for release November 22.
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