Gangster Squad Release May Be Delayed In Response To Colorado Shootings

By Katey Rich 2012-07-21 10:15:43discussion comments
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The decision to pull the trailer for Gangster Squad, which features a scene of men shooting at a movie theater audiences, from screenings of The Dark Knight Rises this weekend was an obvious one. In the wake of yesterday's shootings in Aurora, Colorado no one could stomach the sight of violence in a theater played for thrills. But the future of Gangster Squad itself is much trickier question, as the movie heads toward its September 7 release with pretty much no way of knowing when, if ever, we'll be able to handle a scene like that again.

According to The LA Times, Warner Bros. is weighing a lot of options, including delaying the release of the movie or cutting the scene entirely, even though it's a "climactic moment" and cutting it might require reshoots. The film, directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn, had at one point been scheduled for an October 19 release date before it was bumped up to Sept. 7; it seems relatively easy for Warner Bros. to take back that date, giving the country a little more time to cope with the events in Aurora. The October 19 date would have Gangster Squad opening against the thriller Alex Cross, but competing for the same audience is probably much easier than going for an audience that recoils at a key scene in your movie.

It's a no-win situation for Fleischer and the studio, a result of horrible timing and nothing more. It's hard not to think of the fate of many of the movies scheduled to open after 9/11, like Arnold Schwarzenegger's Collateral Damage or even The Time Machine, that were delayed for imagery or themes that reminded people of the attacks. Gangster Squad looks like a much better movie than both of those, but it's still in the impossible position of trying to get people to escape into its world while also reminding them sharply of a recent real-life tragedy.
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