Robert De Niro arrived in Massachusetts this week to begin shooting Martin Campbell’s dark thriller, Edge Of Darkness, in which he would have played a government operative trying to cover up the death of a young woman.

And today, Robert De Niro left the movie completely, citing creative differences. Now that’s fast.

The thriller, based on Campbell’s own groundbreaking BBC series, stars Mel Gibson as the policeman father of the dead girl who, in his grief-driven investigation, stumbles upon a government cover-up that goes way up. Way, way up.

The movie also stars Danny Huston, Shawn Roberts and Bojana Novakovic – but no longer De Niro. The plan at the moment is to shoot around his scenes until a replacement actor can be cast. Could be a couple of days, could be a couple of weeks, but I’d imagine that a replacement will be found pretty damn quickly.

The movie’s producer, our very own Graham King, had negotiated a SAG waiver in order to shoot the movie – so, if the Screen Actors Guild calls a strike during production, he’d be able to finish it. That’s what I call preparation – but not even the esteemed King could possibly have seen this one coming.