Take a look at the above screengrabs of upcoming movie “Gangster Squad”. They will likely be your last glimpse ever.
In light of the tragic shooting at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado last week, Warner Bros has decided to remove an entire sequence from that period crime thriller. Variety today reported that the studio has ordered immediate reshoots to replace a cinema shootout scene that appears in director Ruben Fleischer’s “Gangster Squad”, where a group of mobsters enter a crowded theatre and open fire on the audience with machine guns. Sound familiar? That’s exactly what Warners is jittery about, and they happen to be the same studio who produced “The Dark Knight Rises”. All “offending” scenes will also be removed from future trailers, and Warners is in serious negotiations to delay the release of the movie, as the scene is reportedly “crucial to the overall film, so cutting the scene and reassembling the narrative will be no easy task.”
“Gangster Squad” stars Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Here’s the original trailer if you’re curious.
Although this is clearly a case of really bad timing, I’m not sure changing a film that was already complete before the events hit is necessarily the right thing to do. On one hand it could be seen as a considerate gesture by the studio out of respect for the victims and their families. On the other, this might set a dangerous precedent for knee-jerk reactionary measures towards art, especially if the reshoots and removal of that sequence negatively impacts the overall quality of the film. And it also gives way more attention to the actions of that one looney killer than he deserves.
I’d like to open this up for debate. What do you think?