Tom Six
Credit: Ian West/AP

Human Centipede star Dieter Laser might have to put his money where his mouth is. The gross-out franchise’s director Tom Six (pictured), through his company Six Entertainment, is threatening to sue the star of The Human Centipede and The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) for breach of contract.

“Because of the success of The Human Centipede, it seems that Mr. Dieter Laser’s ego has grown to laughably big proportions,” said producer (and Tom’s sister) Ilona Six in a statement. She continued that Laser “demand[ed] his own unacceptable script changes” and backed out of the role “only seven weeks prior to shooting.”

Bad news for Centipede fans: The suit will delay production on The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence), which was supposed to begin in May or June. Now principal photography will be pushed back until the fall.

As for Laser, The Hollywood Reporter reports that he disputes the Sixes’ accusations. He claims they sold him on a story concept and promised him a script within six weeks. “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.” He claims he threw himself into “a day and night marathon” to brainstorm “concrete and practical suggestions which would enable me to play the lead full throttle.”

Unfortunately, his alternatives “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.'”

This lawsuit is only the latest of a string of controversies that have shrouded the franchise, most notably when the British Board of Film Classification nearly banned last year’s Full Sequence from U.K. theaters due to its grotesque nature.

At present, it’s unclear if the delays will ultimately affect the final Centipede‘s hoped-for 2013 release.

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