FILMING OF NEW TOM HANKS MOVIE IN FIJI CANCELLED

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 26, 1999 - PACNEWS/INCL)---Fiji has lost out on an opportunity to be featured in the new Tom Hanks movie, Castaway.

Producers of the film are now shooting in Los Angeles instead of the film’s original location in the Mamanucas, a chain of islands in the western part of the country.

An Australian magazine, Women’s Day, reported that the producers cancelled Fiji filming plans, fearing the loss of "life and limb" of the Oscar-winning star.

The magazine said disaster struck in March.

Hanks plays an overweight, spoiled millionaire whose yacht is shipwrecked in the Pacific Ocean, and Hanks willingly performed most of his own stunts.

In one shoot he suffered a welter of insect bites as well as cuts and scrapes from sharp coral. Also, flooding in the region at that time, had spread bacteria and a small cut on his right leg developed potentially fatal cellulitis.

Despite treatment at a local hospital, he had to be rushed back to Los Angeles in his private jet and immediately admitted to St John’s hospital there.

Hanks left the hospital on crutches, but has now returned to work on Castaway in Hollywood.

Producers of the movie have created a rocky outcrop to represent the scene originally chosen in Fiji.

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