Hollywood star George Clooney has revealed that he wrote Josh Brolin an "awful letter" to break the news that he was cutting him out of his new movie, Suburbicon.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the 56-year-old confirmed speculation that Brolin would not appear in the final version of the 50s-set drama, revealing that it was because his scenes were too funny.
Suburbicon centres around a family who are the victims of a home invasion in a good neighbourhood, and stars Matt Damon and Julianne Moore.
"We shot a couple of scenes with Josh [playing] a baseball coach that are really, really funny," he explained.
"But after we did our first screening, the one thing that became really clear to me was that [the scenes] let the air out of the balloon, in terms of the tension in the film."
Clooney — who directed the feature — made the tough decision to cut the Brolin completely but confessed he didn't have the courage to tell him face-to-face so he found another way to let him down gently.
"I had to write him this awful note where I just said, 'You're not going to believe it, but these scenes really don't work any more.'
"He felt bad, and he thought maybe something went wrong, and I said, 'I'm sending you the scenes, so you can see, they're actually the two funniest scenes in the movie.'"
Clooney, who co-starred with Brolin in the Coen brothers' 2016 film Hail, Caesar!, says he felt for Brolin because he had experienced something similar after filming scenes for the 1998 film Thin Red Line.
Watch the trailer for Surburbicon here:
He said: "I did a bunch of scenes in Thin Red Line and then got a call from Terry (Malick), saying, 'We're cutting out everything except the very last scene.'
"I was like, 'Please cut me completely out of the movie! Don't leave me in one scene!' But, [On Suburbicon], it is one of those where we were just, like, 'There was no option.'
"He was so great in the film. I never like talking about those kind of things because it can be really unfair to an actor, except to say he was just absolutely great in the movie."
Although Brolin will not appear in Suburicon, he has roles in several upcoming major films, including the firemen drama Only the Brave, Avengers: Infinity War, and Deadpool 2.
Suburbicon is set for release on 27 October.