Not knowing what else to do, Warner Bros. responds to Colorado shooting by changing Gangster Squad
As the Aurora shooting still dominates the news and national mood, the outpouring of empty gestures must continue, lest we be forced to confront the terrifying fact that psychopaths exist without the amelioration of having someone more rational to get mad at. Warner Bros. has naturally been at the forefront of that bending over backwards to deflect and/or absorb some of the blame for one deranged individual's actions, and it seems their guilt will affect more than just the promotion and release of The Dark Knight Rises. It’s also having ramifications for the Ryan Gosling-starring period noir Gangster Squad, which has already had its trailer pulled over a climactic scene in which a group of machine gun-wielding characters shoot their way out of a movie screen and fire into the audience—something that, given the current climate, is certainly unfortunately timed.
Now Variety reports that the studio, after considering whether to merely delay the film from its September 7 start date to allow more distance between it and real-life events, is choosing to remove the key scene entirely, and enter reshoots to replace it. That way, the studio apparently figures, the audience won't be subjected any further to lingering reminders of the shooter's horrible actions, except in knowing that he had exactly the fear-mongering, fame-seeking impact he sought in the first place. And the studio can't be accused of valuing its product over sensitivity toward its audience, except in the sense that they're choosing this reactionary strategy over simply delaying it from the more profitable, award-consideration season of the fall. Anyway, no word yet on what the scene will be replaced with, but considering the relative effectiveness this will have in helping us make sense of Friday's tragedy, maybe Gosling et al. could instead burst into theater and have a loud, long debate over gun control.