‘Gangster Squad’ Is Being Recut Due To ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Theater Shooting [Updated]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 25th, 2012 at 9:21 am,

gangster squad delay Gangster Squad Is Being Recut Due To Dark Knight Rises Theater Shooting [Updated]

[UPDATE: Warner Bros. is now eying a January 2013 release date for Gangster Squad.]

Warner Bros. has wasted no time with damage control in response to last week’s horrific Colorado shooting, which took place during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The studio has already pulled trailers for Gangster Squad from theaters, which teased one of the film’s signature set pieces: a behind-the-screen shootout at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

The studio is debating its next move with Ruben Fleischer’s crime drama – which, it ought to mentioned, is a romanticized treatment of real-life events. While a release delay for Gangster Squad seems like a must (for the sake of sensitivity), Warner Bros. could take additional steps with its response.

Gangster Squad embellishes the efforts of the LAPD to take down Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) during the 1940s, with a star-studded cast that includes Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Michael Pena, Robert Patrick, and Nick Nolte. It’s a violent tale of cops and criminals, based on events chronicled in Paul Lieberman’s “Tales From the Gangster Squad.”

Warner Bros. heads are giving thought to just recutting Gangster Squad so the theater sequence is either significantly reduced or removed altogether, according to Company Town’s sources – who also say the moment plays a pivotal role in the narrative proceedings of Fleischer’s movie. Variety is reporting that Warner Bros. has already decided to remove the scene and “is putting reshoot plans into motion.”

gangster squad sean penn Gangster Squad Is Being Recut Due To Dark Knight Rises Theater Shooting [Updated]

Sean Penn in 'Gangster Squad'

Most of the volatile content in Gangster Squad boils down to standard material for the Noir genre. The problem with the aforementioned theater sequence is that fails to qualify as customary content for this sort of film, and its inclusion could prompt accusations that Warner Bros. is exploiting the emotional fallout from the Colorado event (regardless of whether that’s the intention or not).

It doesn’t help that the theater showdown is one of the plot elements in Gangster Squad which is not based on a historical event, and qualifies as Hollywood (violent) fantasy. That’s not to say it’s inconsequential to the story – or that removing it will not compromise the artistic integrity of the final film. It just means that Warner Bros. has a difficult decision to make about how drastic a course of action to take, no matter what.

Keep your eyes peeled for an official update on the Gangster Squad situation – and don’t be surprised if the film gets bumped back from a planned September release date.


Source: LA Times, Variety

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  1. The funny thing is that by the time this movie is released, the news cycle would have moved on, and nobody will remember this massacre. Warner Bros would have wasted their money filming new scenes. The public has very short memories. Guarantee that by next week the front pages will be dominated by something else. Got to love the media age.

  2. Just because you cut it out of the movie doesnt mean people will forget about it, it was a sad thing and feel horrible about it but this should not change anything from anyone’s hard work because a guy had to go psychotic at a theater.

  3. To cut a pivotal scene out, because of a recent event is ridiculous. The movie was finished before this incident. It’s coming to a point where people are oversensitive. My hearts goes out to the victims and their families. Movies still come out with rape, molestation, bombings and war. What about those families that have been affected by those incidents, even if it’s on a much smaller scale. All that adds up. What about the insensitivity to victims overseas, where Soldiers kill innocent civilians in war. Delay the movie, don’t cut out a key scene.

  4. People react differently to events like this, and Warner is probably just trying to mitigate the damage this whole thing has already done from their perspective. The reality is though it won’t change a thing or help any of the victims and their families, and it won’t prevent the 50 other movie or television shows that will still have some form of violence that may elicit the idea of what happened this past week in some people’s minds.

    They did the same thing after 9/11, striking any image or mention of the Twin Towers from various media, and it really didn’t accomplish anything. The feelings died down and now we have tons of movies with wholesale destruction of cities that make lots of money, and nobody says a word. This violence hangover period will end, and like any drunk who swears this will never happen again, odds are it will.

  5. ridiculous…common sense says this movie was filmed last year…nobody would think that anything was being exploited by just keeping the film as it is…i get pulling that particular trailer but to cut the sequence out of the movie is artistic tampering in my opinion. if i was directing a film and took the time to film a set piece, cut it well and display in a compelling way i wouldn’t want something as random and unpredictable as that resulting in my work being punished and brushed off to the side. if they’re doing reshoots that means that noone will even see the sequence which to me is disrespectful to the audience, and (once again) letting a random moron’s psychotic actions impact things that he should have nothing to do with

  6. you know what. this is stupid. people already know about the scene from the trailer. cutting it from the film won’t change what happened in Colorado. everything that happens in the movie has probably happened to someone somewhere to some capacity, should the entire thing just not be shown to be sensitive? no. this is a film shot months and finished before this madman took step inside that theatre. of course what happened was horrible. that goes without saying. but recutting a movie won’t change a thing. now it’s just another thing this dick has ruined

  7. Scene should never have gotten in in the first place. As a person who has a strong connection to Abraham Lincoln, I find any shooting in a theater offensive. A good man was killed in that theater, people.

    We should never have violent acts in movies that remotely resemble things that have happened in real life. No more war movies. No more terrorism, kidnapping, drug, gang, mob, rape, murder, assault or any other violent acts that can occur in real life should be in movies again ever.

    • Well that would end a few people’s careers, Bay first and foremost. Hmmmm, double edged sword…….

    • I see what you did there, and agree that it’s silly to take out the scene of the movie altogether because of all the other bad things that have happened that are portrayed in the movie. The scene is not about one crazy guy shooting people in a cinema, but about gangsters doing a hit. What about the scene in the Final Destination movie where there are explosives behind the screen. Should that movie be removed from rental outlets?

      WB is not doing this because they feel for the families, they’re doing it because they think it might affect ticket sales if people see the movie as being insensitive and might organize some protests that would probably make it on the evening news and make them look bad.

      If this scene is cut, I hope a “director’s cut” is released on Blu-Ray so I can skip this movie in the cinema and wait for the “real” version.

    • you find that offensive? are you kidding me?

  8. well, i’ve seen this movie and, with or without theater scene, it ain’t great or any kind of artistic triumph. penn is terrific as per usual and brolin is as good as the role of a squareball will let him be, but don’t get me started on emma stone’s character; totally bad, totally nonsensical, kind of a confusing slut figure at best … unless they’re changing things in reshoots. this isn’t the godfather, nor does it aim to be, i guess, but it sure could be a lot more than it is, and would maybe have been with a different director, given what i hear about the quality of the script.

  9. It’s so weird reading all these comments, and no one seems to care about the reason behind the Colorado shooting. You worry about censorship? Do you even realise that we are all becoming desensitised to violence? We watch it as entertainment, something to accompany our popcorn with… Seriously no one here thinks that this dementia is largely due to the way the American society glorifies violence???
    You think this kid, spending his whole life watching gunshooting on tv, was not influenced a little bit by it? And he just went mad , just because? With no outside influence whatsoever? I’m NOT saying he’s innocent, I’m saying this society is gonna breed a lot more of those phenomenons…

    • Way to go off topic.

      I don’t see a single comment here mentioning censorship. Do you?

      Secondly, what exactly is your point? Violent movies made this guy violent? Okay, then I guess we should just ban all violent movies. Then we can be sure there will be no more violence in society.

      Thanks for the tip.

      • “I don’t see a single comment here mentioning censorship. Do you? ”

        Uh.. yes! The second sentence (a question) explicitly says “censporsship”. Just because you may disagree with the commentor that alone doesn’t qualify the post as “off topic”. That said I do disagree with the implied statement the poster made about the psyco being a product of violence in American culture. However its also just as incorrect to say that violence (by an individual) is not caused by the day to day exposure of violeence on TV, movies and elsewhere.

    • But i watch violent movies and played violent video games. However, i don’t want to go shoot up a movie theater, a school, or anything like that. If you can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction, then you shouldn’t be watching or playing anything violent.

  10. says the man with the lobo avatar!!!! a very violent space criminal…..

  11. Since Saturday(NZ time)I have pushed for a complete deletion of the cinema shooting scene on Facebook and other powerful internet sites, seems it pays dividends, to you people that think it should stay in, whys that??..people have been killed and I do think having a scene in a movie where dudes with tommy guns are spraying bullets from behind a cinema screen is yes totally uncalled for ‘in light’ of what happened in Colorado..I will continue to push online for GANGSTER SQUAD to be recut.

    • So… you’re campaigning for something that the studio has already said they will do (did you read the title of this blogpost?). Man, you must be so smart. Thanks for confirming my view that activists are generally idle troublemakers who ad no value but love to attract attention to themselves.

      I’m sure the 3 likes on your Facebook page must be so fulfilling.

  12. This movie is about my grandfather (John O’Mara), and I am for one HORRIFIED that the theater shooting scene was even in this movie. In the years my grandfather was in the Gangster Squad, he fired his bullet ONCE. This whole movie is an inaccurate dramatization of a fascinating life. My grandfather was an amazing man…his story was incredible enough without adding the horrific violence Warner Brothers has pumped into the Gangster Squad.

    • Fired his gun only once? Sounds like your grandfather was a pretty boring guy. You should probably be grateful that the movie is making him seem interesting.

      • right, because shooting guns like some homicidal maniac is all that makes people interesting. I should have guessed that posting on this would spring on a bunch of losers commenting stupid, offensive things just for the sake of pissing me off.

      • right…because shooting guns like some homicidal maniac is all that makes people interesting. I should have guessed that posting on this would spring on a bunch of losers commenting stupid, offensive things just for the sake of pissing me off.

        • Welcome to the Internet. It’s not for the overly sensitive or faint of heart.

  13. Etrigan, I campaigned for this ‘well before’ this topic came up and am indeed glad Warner Bros is deleting the cinema shooting scene in Gangster Squad, and what does 3 likes on my Facebook page got to do with anything??..Stay on topic as they say and get a life!.