Chicken Run fans vow to boycott sequel on Netflix after Julia Sawalha is sacked for ‘sounding too old’

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CHICKEN Run fans have vowed to boycott the sequel on Netflix after it was revealed Julia Sawalha has been sacked for “sounding too old”.

The actress, who played Ginger in the original movie back in 2000, was told by her agent that filmmakers want to recast the role.

She said: “Chicken Run 2 announcement! I have officially been plucked, stuffed & roasted. If you are interested, do read what I have to say about it.”

One fan replied: “I will not be watching. This is so wrong!”

Another added: “That doesn’t sound like Chicken Run 2 if they have no you Julia! Blatant #ageism.”

Someone else said: “I’m sorry to read the news. I’ll definitely won’t be seeing it.

“It won’t be the same without but there’s a reason for everything. Nobody’s voice sounds like it did 20 years ago.”

Chicken Run 2 has already seen lead actor Mel Gibson – who played Rocky in the 2000 original – axed after he was accused of making an anti-Semitic remark to Winona Ryder in 1995.

In an open letter to fans, Julia revealed she wasn’t even offered a voice test to prove herself – and supporters are in such a flap they’ve launched a petition demanding movie bosses re-think the decision.

The 51-year-old Ab Fab star wrote: “The reason they gave is that my voice now sounds ‘too old’ and they want a younger actress to reprise the role.

“Usually in these circumstances, an actress would be given the chance to do a voice test in order to determine the suitability of their pitch and tone, I, however, was not given this opportunity.”

Revealing she wouldn’t “go down without a fight”, Julia shared a video of her own voice test which appeared to prove she’d lost none of the charm that made Ginger so popular first time around.

Having proven that she was up to the job in her home video, Julia said: “I feel I have been unfairly dismissed.”

She penned: “To say I am devastated and furious would be an understatement. I feel totally powerless, something in all of this doesn’t quite ring true. I trust my instincts and they are waving red flags.

“I am saddened that I have lost the chance to work with Nick Park and Peter Lord from whom I learnt so much. The three of us, together, created Ginger.

“Today I responded by wishing the production the best of luck and the greatest success with the sequel.

“There is nothing more I can do, other than to thank all of you who loved and still love Chicken Run, as I do. I’m off for the chop now, Ginger x.”

The stop-motion animated classic by Aardman Animations had an all-star cast including Mel Gibson and Timothy Spall.

But it was Julia’s Ginger that was top chick as she led the mission to escape Mrs Tweedy’s farm before being made into pies.

A petition demanding movie chiefs reverse their decision has been launched on change.org.

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