Reshoots

Gangster Squad Theater Scene

Whether they needed to or not, Warner Bros. went into something of a panic after last month’s tragic theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and made plans to scrap a key scene from their upcoming release Gangster Squad. You see, their crime film’s climax also concerned a shooting taking place in a movie theater, and the studio figured that creating a fantasy tragedy that so closely resembled a recent, real-life tragedy would have been in bad taste. After a bit of deliberation, the plan was to completely rewrite and reshoot the sequence, a process which would push the film’s release from September 7 to sometime in 2013 (now confirmed as January 11). Of course, given that reshoots necessarily pushed back the release date of the film, further discussion was created around the issue of whether or not a movie coming out in 2013 would need to change its content because of a shooting that happened in 2012. It’s an interesting line the studio is straddling between acting in good taste and censoring art. But, no matter where your opinion on the issue lies, what’s been decided has been decided, and director Ruben Fleischer and crew are going forward with the reshoots.

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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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The Rock is a hype man, born and bred. I guess that’s kind of inevitable when you grow up in a house with a dad and a grandpa who are both professional wrestlers. So any talking up of his film projects the guy does on Twitter should be taken with a grain of salt; he is a carny at heart, after all. Still though, it should be noted that after yesterday’s announcement that G.I. Joe: Retaliation was having its June 2012 release date changed to a March 2013 one (so that it could be converted to 3D) disappointed pretty much everyone else on the planet, The Rock seemed to be the only guy who was enthusiastic about the news. Soon after the story broke, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took to his Twitter account and had this to say: “Commitment to make GI JOE a massive world event just got bigger. New release 3/29/13. Rock + Ass kickins + 3D = #AwwwwShit” It seems that in Mr. Johnson’s mind, a finished film that’s already been heavily marketed and was  set for release in a little over a month getting pushed back nine more months isn’t a sign that there are serious problems with the finished product, it’s just a sign that the studio is more committed than ever to making sure that it’s the most awesome movie possible. Kind of like how Marvel just gave Iron Man 3 an extra $60 million to play with, only completely backwards.

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Whatever the reason, it looks like George Lucas is taking over on Red Tails while Anthony Hemingway heads back to television.

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Wolverine Banner

Wolverine himself emailed Harry at Aint it Cool with a personal note about the current reshoots happening in Vancouver.

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Huge Ackman as Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is set for some serious reshoots, but there might be reason to look on the bright side for once. Or not. I’ll let you decide.

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Perception is everything in Hollywood, up to and including being more important than reality. And when a major production goes into a period of reshoots, that is often perceived as a bad thing.

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It’s a good thing the WGA strike hasn’t shut down the post-department, as reports are saying that the anticipated I Am Legend was reshooting as late as last week.

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