Warner Bros. has been working their butts off since the tragic theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. They’ve cancelled press screenings, they’ve cancelled premiers, they’ve had discussions about delaying the release of The Dark Knight Rises and more. They also pulled the trailer for Gangster Squad from theaters.
The trailer for Gangster Squad had a scene where Sean Penn and his gangster buddies bust through a theater from the screen area and walk toward the audience with tommy guns. A couple months ago, it was just an action scene in a 40/50′s gangster flick. But now it just brings back bad memories.
“The studio moved swiftly Friday to pull from exhibs and online outlets the trailer forGangster Squad, a period drama that featured a scene in which agents spray machine-gun fire into a crowded movie theater from behind the screen. Given the eerie association created by the Aurora shootings, Warner Bros. has since decided to remove the scene from the film, which opens Sept. 7, and is putting reshoot plans into motion, a source with knowledge of the situation told Variety. Warner Bros. would not comment.”
This is a smart move, and the right move, from Warner Bros. The scene was horrifically violent apparently, and included theater goers running and scampering and dodging from bullets. Critic Richard Roeper read the script and posted about the scene on his blog after the events in Aurora.
“I read the screenplay for Gangster Squad, and the theater scene (ONSCREEN GUNFIRE joined by ACTUAL GUNFIRE…Panicked PATRONS dive, crawling, scrambling toward the exits…) is a key sequence taking place fairly late in the action. No official word yet on whether the scene in question will be cut from the movie.
No matter. I can’t imagine Warner Bros. keeping the scene in the film. With Gangster Squad set for release only six weeks from now, it would take people out of the moviegoing experience and instantly remind them of the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colo.”
Yes, the film is due six months from now. I’m sure if this report is true Warner Bros. will accomodate the filmmakers in any way possible to make the changes they need to make. It’s a pretty huge change too, but it’s the right one. Good job, Warner Bros. [Variety via FirstShowing]