Gerry and Kate McCann have praised Ben Affleck for postponing the release of his new movie about an abducted child.

'Gone Baby Gone' was pulled in the UK last month over its similarities to the case of the couple's missing four-year-old daughter Madeleine.

The film is about a child, also four, who is snatched from her bed after being left alone by her parents. It was directed by Affleck and features his brother Casey as a private detective.

Affleck insisted at the time that he did not want to "inflame anybody's sensitivities" by releasing the film, saying: "We are acutely aware of the situation surrounding Madeleine McCann. The movie is just a commercial matter, whereas this is a matter of life and death."

The McCanns' representative said in a statement: "We thank him for being thoughtful enough and sensitive enough to Gerry and Kate's position to make such a commercial decision. Obviously we hope Madeleine will be found very soon to enable Kate and Gerry to move on, but also to enable him and the movie to go ahead in due course."

Madeleine disappeared from a resort in Portugal in May while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. 'Gone Baby Gone' was filmed before the toddler went missing.