'Human Centipede 3' Production Delayed as Producers, Dieter Laser Feud

“The Human Centipede” (2009)
Six Entertainment

The doctor sews people together to create the titular arthropod.

The third film in the gross-out franchise hits a snag as its star refuses to participate.

The Human Centipede filmmakers and star of the first film in the series are publicly volleying hot accusations.

Production on the third installment in the Dutch shock-schlock horror films has been delayed until the fall, producer Ilona Six announced, due to a dispute with Dieter Laser. The man who played the evil Dr. Heiter in the original had backed out and breached his contract, Six said Thursday.

"Because of the success of The Human Centipede, it seems that Mr. Dieter Laser’s ego has grown to laughably big proportions," Six wrote in a news release. "First signing the contract and rating the Human Centipede 3 script as fantastic and then demanding his own unacceptable script changes and now refusing to play the part only seven weeks prior to shooting. Six Entertainment Co. will start legal action against Dieter Laser. [Series writer-director] Tom Six says not to worry -- principal photography will be postponed and will take place later this year.”

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Not one to have his good name dragged through the mud, Laser responded with artistic criticism: He could no longer relate to the torturous psychopath who sewed victims into an anus-to-mouth chain.

"It’s very simple: I loved the story when it was told, got the contract and the promise to have the script in four to six weeks," he told German website ScreenRead. "When it arrived -- half a year later and only after the official announcement -- I didn’t like the realization at all, couldn’t identify with the character the way it was written and developed immediately and enthusiastically in a day and night marathon a version full of concrete and practical suggestions which would enable me to play the lead full throttle – same procedure as with Dr. Heiter – but this time it also would have had some unavoidable effects to the dramatic structure. That was too much for Tom, and since he couldn’t live with my suggestions and I as a method actor couldn’t identify with his version, I told him that I couldn’t see any other way than that he would have to ‘change horses.’ That’s it.”

The 2009 first film was a surprise sensation, if not box-office hit, garnering mixed reviews and vast public attention due to the outcry about its gruesome storyline. The film won various horror film festival awards, including a best actor prize for Laser at Fantastic Fest.

The second film in the franchise, dubbed The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), played into the original's legacy, positing that the first was indeed a film but the second was real life. Reviews for that film were less kind (including THR's), and it was nearly banned in England for its graphic nature.