The Peanut Butter Falcon director 'offered money' to replace actor with Down's syndrome
The film earned the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas earlier this year.
Tyler Nilson was "offered money" to replace The Peanut Butter Falcon star Zack Gottsagen because he suffers from Down's syndrome.
Zack has been training for a career as an actor since a young age, and had the part in the film written especially for him after he met Tyler at an acting camp for people with disabilities - but faced adversity from studio bosses who feared he would make the film "unmarketable".
"Every step of the way has been a bit of an uphill battle," Tyler shared on British daytime show This Morning. "We were told this would not be marketable, people would not go and see it in theatres... because he's not a marketable face... We were offered money to replace Zack."
The filmmaker, who co-directs the film with Mike Schwartz, went on to share bosses were certain the film would flop, adding: "We were also told it wouldn't get on streaming services and people wouldn't buy tickets and go to watch it in the cinemas."
The movie, which also stars Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson, follows a young man with Down's syndrome who runs away from home to follow his dreams of becoming a professional wrestler.
It was met with critical acclaim and received the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award at South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas earlier this year.
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