Aurora Colorado Shooting

Gangster Squad Reshoots

It didn’t take long after the recent shootings in an Aurora Colorado movie theater for Warner Bros. to realize that they had a problem on their hands with Gangster Squad. Seeing as their upcoming crime drama—which is currently set for a September 7 release—so prominently features a scene where a bunch of machine gun wielding gangsters open fire on a theater full of moviegoers, a decision about the potentially offensive scene needed to be made. Yes, it’s unfortunate that a real life tragedy can lead to self-censorship when it comes to art, but good taste is good taste. The trailers for the film were immediately pulled after news of the shooting broke, and the studio’s initial plan was to rush some re-writes and re-shoots to have the theater scene replaced with something else before Gangster Squad’s release. That was the initial plan. Now Variety is reporting that making major changes to a film when there are only six weeks until its scheduled release might not be a possibility.

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Gangster Squad Reshoots

Real life tragedies affecting film releases isn’t a new phenomenon. There was a period after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 where films shot in New York City before the World Trade Center went down had to go back and edit scenes out or use digital trickery if even a glimpse of the Twin Towers appeared in a shot. And, more recently, upcoming comedy The Watch had its title changed and one of its trailers pulled after content in the ad too closely echoed the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. People don’t like to be reminded of horrible things when they’re trying to go out for a night of entertainment. So, it comes as no surprise that in the wake of the theater shooting that took place during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, some films are going to be making adjustments to their content and marketing efforts in order to not inappropriately echo the tragedy that took place. So far the studio that’s most immediately affected is Warner Bros. Not only did they have millions of dollars worth of violence-filled TV ads for The Dark Knight Rises pulled from the airwaves over the weekend, but they also cancelled several special screenings where the stars of the film were scheduled to make personal appearances. And another of their upcoming releases, the Ruben Fleischer-directed Gangster Squad, is making it necessary for them to make even more adjustments.

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Boiling Point

By this point you couldn’t have avoided it: something terrible happened in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. A masked gunman burst into a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises and fired into the crowd, killing twelve and wounding scores more. As this is the internet and the modern era of thinking (that is, think less, say more), the webisphere was immediately abuzz with a flourish of articles, tweets, and Facebook posts running the gamut from respectable (condolences to families) to unnecessary (political rhetoric) to stupid (generally, again, politics) and, worst of all, to fear mongering. It is not enough to report on anything these days, whether it’s box office or a tragic event. No, these things must be milked and trussed up and trotted out, clad in hyperbolic statements and paraded around to get hits. Everything must first be related to the self and then shown to the world. If people still aren’t reading, then scare them. Go too far. Don’t think, react. Well, that’s bullshit.

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Dark Knight Rises Shooting

The police already released the name of the suspect they have in custody for opening fire in a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises on Friday, but the names that truly deserve attention are now out. Thanks to CBS Denver, a full list of those killed in the shooting gives us an idea of who they were. They include two active duty military personnel, a redheaded spitfire, a true Texas gentleman, and a 6-year-old girl who had just learned how to swim.

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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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