Development of Christchurch attack film They Are Us put on hold

The development of controversial planned Hollywood movie They Are Us, which is based on the Christchurch terror attack, has been put on hold.

A statement from New Zealand-born writer Andrew Niccol was sent out on Friday afternoon confirming development of the movie is on hold until "full consultation with New Zealand's Muslim community has taken place".

"I am deeply saddened by the pain caused to the families of the victims, due to the wrongful distribution of our draft script for They Are Us. The script is far from final, and never intended to be shared with the affected members of the Muslim community at such an early stage," he said.

"The sore purpose of the script, which was released without permission, was to gauge interest of potential financiers. It was given to them in the strictest confidence and all were informed that this was not intended to be the final version. All scenes in the script are placeholders until we have completed further consultation with the families.

"Our hope for this firm, conceived by producer Ayman Jamal, which will take years to complete, is that it will honour the survivors, and the lives lost. It will serve as a testament to the acts of heroism and sacrifice that took place on that tragic day."

Niccol said it is their intention to "show the world how a nation can respond to such a tragedy".

"New Zealand's embrace of its Muslim community is a testament to the strength of human solidarity and compassion.

"From its inception, we wanted to tell the story of how an unprecedented act of hatred was overwhelmed by an outpouring of love.

"We are committed to ensuring that the voices of the affected Muslim community, and the voices of the wider community, will be heard moving forward."

Newshub has attempted to contact Niccol's representative.