The crime movie “Gangster Squad,” which includes a scene that depicts a mass theater shooting, has had its opening delayed from this fall to 2013, USA Today reports.
It’s the third Hollywood movie this year to have its release affected by real-life violence, the story notes.
“The Ryan Gosling period piece about gang warfare in Los Angeles in the 1940s and ’50s moved from Sept. 7 to Jan. 11, according to distributor Warner Bros.’ new release schedule,” the story reports.
Warner Bros. pulled the trailer for the movie from screenings of “The Dark Knight Rises” in the immediate aftermath of the shooting a week ago in Aurora, Colo., in which 12 people were killed and 58 wounded.
“’Squad,’ which also stars Sean Penn, Nick Nolte and Emma Stone, included a scene in which gunmen open fire behind a movie screen into an unsuspecting audience, an image eerily similar to last week’s slayings. Aurora police say James Holmes walked into the theater armed with guns, body armor and explosives,” the story reports.
Earlier in the year, Twentieth Century Fox changed the name of “Neighborhood Watch” in the wake of the killing of Florida youth Trayvon Martin. The movie, released Friday, is now called “The Watch.” Trailers for the film were also modified.
“The Dark Knight Rises” has also been tainted by violence, obviously, but continues to draw large crowds to theaters nationwide.
The report notes: “Facing a lawsuit filed earlier this week by one of the survivors of the Aurora shooting, studio executives declined to comment on the change. On Tuesday, Torrence Brown Jr., a friend of A.J. Bolk., who died in the shooting, sued the theater, alleging inadequate security, and Warner Bros., claiming ‘Rises’’ violent themes helped provoke the attack.”
In the case of “Gangster Squad,” the report says, “The three-month delay will give filmmakers time to re-shoot or excise the controversial scene, though no timetable has been set for edits, according to Warner Bros. executives who were not authorized to speak on the record. The scene was shot in Los Angeles’ famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.”
Jeff Bock, box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, said: "Warner Bros. has been more sensitive than anyone to this shooting, and I don’t think North American audiences will ever see that (theater) scene.”