The itchy inconvenience of excess facial hair has got to Kingdom Come extras, who are threatening to make appointments with the hairdresser as they wonder whether the movie will go ahead.
Extras for the movie about the life of Jesus, which was due to start filming in the Nelson region this month, say the beards and nasal, ear and head hair they were asked to grow for the film are driving them mad, with some even going through with the snip.
After unsuccessfully emailing and calling the movie's production company, South Vineyard Ltd, Nelson extra Darryl Ware decided to get in touch with other Nelson extras to see what they knew about filming dates.
"It's like waiting for the second coming," he said.
Mr Ware received about 14 emails from fellow extras. None of them had heard any news and they had been confused by conflicting statements in the media. All expressed frustration at the lack of communication and professionalism of South Vineyard Ltd, and seven of the extras who replied had already cut their hair.
"I'm done with it, shaved my beard and getting on with life," said one.
Mr Ware, who has worked as an extra in movies and a television series before, said he had never encountered such bad communication.
Nelson extra Mo Krishnasamy, who replied to Mr Ware's email, was also frustrated.
"I think we're all in the same boat. Personally, I'm giving it till the end of February, and then the beard is coming off. I'm fed up with it.
"It was probably all a big have to get a whole bunch of blokes who, by definition of the role, tan well, to grow a mangy beard during the three hottest months of the year and create one hell of a tan line when it comes off," he wrote.
On Wednesday Mr Krishnasamy told The Nelson Mail he had bought an electric beard trimmer and tidied up his beard after feeling hot, bothered and itchy, especially during mountainbike rides.
He decided to audition to be an extra after being egged on by his children. "It certainly wasn't for the money or the fame, but to see how film works."
Phone calls to the South Vineyard Ltd casting department on Wednesday were met with a message saying they were due back at work in early February and that the film was still going ahead.
Earlier this week, Kingdom Come spokesman Ernie Malik said delays to filming had been due to financial issues and cementing a distribution deal.
He said these had now been settled and filming was expected to start in April.
- The Nelson Mail
Are you looking forward to seeing the new Thunderbirds?Related story: (See story)