LINE of Duty actress Thandiwe Newton has been axed from the new Magic Mike film after a bust-up with Channing Tatum — about the Oscars slap.
Witnesses said the row on set escalated to “astonishing” levels before leading man Channing drove off in a car.
Executives have decided to postpone work on the blockbuster and re-cast Thandiwe’s role – wasting 11 days of filming in London.
The 49-year-old Brit is said to be planning to sue studio chiefs at Warner Bros. However sources claim her position is “untenable” after the bust-up with Channing, 41, became “unimaginably vicious”.
Some freelance crew members also say they have lost £4,000 over the feud, which was sparked by a disagreement about actor Will Smith hitting comedian Chris Rock on stage at last month’s Oscars.
One said he saw Thandiwe and Channing arguing on set at Paddington, West London, where they have been photographed filming Magic Mike’s Last Dance — the third instalment about a troupe of male strippers.
The crew member told a pal: “Channing Tatum is the producer and number one on set. Thandiwe Newton is the number two star. But 11 days into shooting and it’s all over.
“They fell out over the debacle at The Oscars. I was on set. I watched her and watched him. They were in and out of the house where we were filming having this confrontation.
“It was a tense exchange of words, but suddenly it escalated – Channing got into this car and he disappeared.
“People looked at each other and thought, ‘Wait, we’re supposed to be filming’.” The source added: “After the row he just went, ‘I am not working with her anymore’. Him being a producer, it’s his movie, so she’s off the movie.
The source said of director Steven Soderbergh: “He didn’t take a side.
“He was trying to calm things down but he’s a very quiet man.”
The incident is understood to have taken place last week. Crew members then received daily emails informing them shooting had been postponed for a further 24 hours.
Channing, one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, is now understood to have returned to the US for an Easter break.
They said: “Everyone on set found her challenging to work with. She’s an absolute diva.
“I’ve watched her have a go at the first assistant director, her costume girl. She’s always ranting and raving about something.”
A Warner Bros. Pictures spokesperson said: “Thandiwe Newton has made the difficult decision to step away from the production of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Magic Mike’s Last Dance to deal with family matters.”
Magic Mike has been one of the most successful commercial franchises of recent years – racking in almost £200million from the first film alone in 2012 and even spawning a live stage show.
It has propelled Channing to superstardom, earning him an army of admirers.
Earlier this month The Sun told how filming of the new movie had been briefly disrupted by female fans desperate to get close to him.
Details of the production schedule were leaked on a WhatsApp group, leading to a group of women descending on rehearsals at a dance studio in London.
It has now been compounded by the bust-up with Thandiwe, who in 2021 announced she was reverting to the original Zimbabwean spelling of her first name.
The actress, known as Thandie when she played DCI Roz Huntley in the fourth series of Line of Duty, claimed she would not have initially made it as an actress if she kept the African version of her name.
She told Vogue she was “taking back what’s mine”, adding: “The thing I’m most grateful for in our business right now is being in the company of others who truly see me. And to not be complicit in the objectification of black people as ‘others,’ which is what happens when you’re the only one.”
Speaking about her role in the film God’s Country, Thandiwe said: “My internalised prejudice was stopping me from feeling like I could play this role when it’s precisely that prejudice that I’ve received. I’m sorry that I’m the one chosen.