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

Published 2 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.

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Source: LA Times, Variety

TAGS: gangster squad, the dark knight rises

79 Comments

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  1. If the scene is important to the movie, then they should recut the film so that we see the men enter the theater and get to their positions. Then it pans to an outside view of the theater, and a few moments later we hear gunfire as the scene fades out into the next one. If the scene isnt very important to the plot then cut it altogether.

    • Even showing that much would be very offensive to the people in the Colorado shootout and their families. At this point the most that they could show would be someone merely mentioning what had happened in the theater without actually showing it, and even that might be too much.

      It seems the best way to go to avoid offending people would be to cut it out entirely. Personally I wouldn’t mind leaving the scene in, but it would start too much controversy if it were.

      • I’m sorry, but that is a really ridiculous line of thinking. So no movie can ever show a shooting in a theatre again? Who says the families are offended- you or them? Well, let’s take that line of thinkign further. Many people have lost family members in war, so let’s shoot no more war films. People have family members who have been killed by serial killers. So no more serial killer movies.

        This kind of knee-jerk pandering is becoming ludicrous to the extreme.

        • I agree completely. There is no reason to recut a film set in the 1940′s based on true events. Its not offensive because it wasn’t made with intent to offend. People who get offended by things that are not meant to be offensive are sensitive. If the family members want to be offended by anything, its the fact that some guy took it upon himself to commit a senseless act of violence that effected their lives, not that a film already produced has a scene that is vaguely similar to what happened.

          • Regardless of whether it was intended to offend or not, it WILL offend people and cause a controversy. If they leave the scene in that’s like the filmmakers saying: “We put a lot of work into this movie, and by God you are going to watch the theater shootout scene whether you have horrible flashbacks of your bloody, lifeless loved ones in your arms or not!”

  2. completely ridiculous

  3. Look, the shooting in Colorado was horriffic and terrible, and heartbreaking, but people are blowing this out of proportion. I don’t want to sound heartless or cruel, but cutting a whole scene from a FICTITOUS movie just because it might bring ‘flashbacks’ of the shooting to certain people? I’m sorry, but that’s just foolish.

    • That’s like releasing a movie about a window washer who just washed the last window of the World Trade Center only to see a plane heading towards him… the day after 9/11 happened.

    • I agree with spencer 100%

  4. Warner’s will have to remove the scene entirely.
    Another scene can be created fill the narrative void.
    The release of Gangster Squad is too close even if delayed.

    • *to fill

  5. Looks like another win for the shooter.

    • ^Yup, totally agree with you Muy M.^

  6. over reaction, party of one…your table is ready.

    It’s horrible and tragic, and sad, and the shooter should be put to death ASAP and there is a special place in hell for this type of person – but do we really need to go off the deep end every time some isolated incident like this happens? Should we just cut everythign out of all movies now because I am positive that someone somewhere is going to be offended/hurt/upset about multiple scenes in movies from the past present and future.

  7. If they cut that scene and reshoot it, they will probably put in a different setting.

    • like a church scene perhaps

  8. Maybe those who would find the inclusion of this scene traumatic or offensive should refrain from watching these kinds of movies for a few years. It’s a gangster movie. There’s gonna be a lot of shooting. It’s a horrific coincidence and it makes sense to maybe delay the release a bit, but it shouldn’t be censored completely (or recut). I’m interested in the story and creative vision the director originally intended.

  9. Idiotic.

  10. I completely agree with the comments here, to censor something because of one lunatic and his actions is putting a checkmark in the win column for this A-HOLE. This country has been at war for ten years so does this mean that Hollywood should not release any war movies to protect the emotions and feelings of people who have lost loved one. For that matter murders take place everyday and there is a movie out there that I am sure emulates one of those acts. Drive by shootings happen all year long, but we all loved Boys in the Hood, and Menace to Society. Point is we can’t protect everybody’s feelings here and at what point do you draw the line. Gangster Squad takes place during the prohibition times and is about “gangsters”, not a psychopath walking into a theatre imitating a comic book hero and commiting a horrible act of senselss violence.

  11. What happened was and is a truly horrible thing. Men, women and children died because of a madman and my thought and prayers go out to the victims and their families, but should we really let this guy win?

    I think they should just delay the film till next year. The people who were directly affected by what happened will obviously not be watching the movie, or any others like it ever again (understandably so), but I don’t think that should keep the rest of the world from seeing the movie as it was originally intended.

    • Exactly my thought, delay the film. Cut the scene from the trailers, maybe release a statement saying that, although THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION, it may have a scene that hits closer to home to some. But, for the love of bacon, don’t pull the rug out from what is likely a key scene to a movie.

      It was one thing to recut Collateral Damage – Sofia Vergera hijacked a freaking plane in the original cut – but that is a rare occurance, and after 9/11, with thousands dying. I’m not saying the shooting is less tragic (it’s not, it’s just as horrifying, due largely to the fact that this guy is still alive and was able to see his victims), but shootings happen a LOT more often, and have happened more often throughout history.

    • next year? you crazy? the hell?

  12. This is a classy move on Warner Brothers part, I hope they follow through with this gesture.
    Every little bit of sesitivity that can be extended to the family and friends of the victims should be.

    • It is not a classy move. It is a knee-jerk, cover-your-ass reaction by studio execs terrified of bad PR because we have become a society held hostage by the outraged minority.

      This is so silly, it sounds like something out of Dilbert. From now on, let us have no more movies with shooting in them, lest we offend somebody whose family member was shot to death. Right? And no more scenes with junkies, because somebody’s brother once died of a drug overdose.

      Amazing how people do dumb things.

      • No, this is a “12 people were murdered in cold blood and we are trying to be sensitive” reaction.

        No one said lets take shooting out of movies. Don’t worry no one would let go of that cash cow when we have a world full of bloodthirsty barbarians (albeit, civilized barbarians). They are simply removing a scene that mirrors a real life event that has become a nation’s tragedy. These very real victims do not care if you lose a scene out of movie that is completely unreal, but they do care when someone shows them that they are thinking about them.

        It is amazing how insensitive people can be.

        • Sensitive to whom exactly? Minorities like you who hold the majority hostage with their ability to complain? You really think the families of the victims don’t have better things to do than get offended by fictional scenes in a movie?

          The families don’t care. The majority doesn’t care. Unfortunately, a small number of people like you care,because the power to complain makes them feel powerful. And studio execs are terrified of bad PR stirred up by people like you so they make this boneheaded move.

          • Sorry Etrigan, I must read at a second grade level because I couldn’t understand any of that.
            I am guessing that you are implying that I feel powerful because I can complain and by doing so that I am holding the majority of society hostage? Sounds intellegent, but I just can’t make heads or tails of it.

            BTW, I can assure you that these “families” do care and that you have no right to think (or comment) otherwise. The removal of a small clip in a fictitious movie is absolutely inconsequential when you look at the overall picture.

            • Yes, people like you are the kind that vocally complain about something and force changes that affect everyone because they are petty, self-centered people who like the fact that complaining gives them some sort of power.

              I’m referring to the kind of people who call and complain when Janet Jackson’s nipple is visible for a split second. The kind who are always writing letters of complaint despite being in the minority.

              Clearly from the comments here you are in the minority. But people like you like to set yourself up as the voice of society. You make the very condescending remark: “BTW, I can assure you that these “families” do care and that you have no right to think (or comment) otherwise.”

              This confirms my first impression of you. First, how do you know what the families feel? Did they tell you? Who made you the voice of society? I think it is much more reasonable to suggest that in their grief, they have more important things to worry about like the memory of their loved ones, than some scene in a fictitious movie.

              Secondly, who are you to tell me what right I have to think or comment? That proves what I said- people like you need some power trip. Who are you to say what I can and cannot comment on? That’s a clear sign of the kind of person who likes to control other people, and will use their power to complain to hold everybody else hostage.

              Lastly, you contradict yourself. You say removal of the small clip in the movie is inconsequential. If it is inconsequential, then why remove it? Because people like you like to impose their sense of what is appropriate on everyone else?

              The comments here show that your opinion is a minority one. So until a member of one of the families says they would be offended by a theater shooting in a movie, I have to stand by my opinion of you.

              • Etrigan must be contrived from the word oxymoron.
                Everything you just wrote directly applies to your own comments, not mine.
                Read my first two comments and tell me where I was complaining? You started with the complaining, you started with telling me how the families felt, and you started with the “voice of society” complex.
                I love watching you guys spin in circles . .

              • Bravo. I guess if they are going by that logic they should stop making films/shows that have police/govt corruption, suicide, acts of terrorism, etc. Why even make action/violent stuff anymore? This was blown up a lot bigger by the media since it happened during one of the most anticipated movies of the year in TDKR. People killing people happens every day, most of it ignored. Of course you feel awful for the people, but it goes back to the way of thinking one person can ruin everything. It’s funny how the big wigs at the studios don’t listen to people and their opinions on what they want in their movies or shows but something like the shooting happens, they are all over it trying to stay PC and stuff like that by removing things. They are just trying to keep the money coming in and save face. For the life of me, I can’t figure out by taking a scene out of a movie where people are going to get shot solves anything. Sure, they could just reshoot it in a different location like people on here were saying, but does that really fix it? It’s still in a public place and people are going down. How far is this going to go? No Joker in future batman films?

                Dark, I can ASSURE you the families have no care in the world about this movie. Just goes to show how high your head is up in the clouds. They have bigger things to worry about than some stupid movie scene. Were you even going to see this movie??

      • I somewhat agree with this, I posted elsewhere that they should just delay the film, but cutting it ‘for the sake of the victims’ is beyond knee-jerk, they’re just trying to avoid any bad publicity. It would be like the studio cutting a car chase out of a movie because someone died in a crash, which happens roughly 100 times a day in the US.

        • Exactly. As I said earlier, this is a terrible tragedy, but you can tell by the trailers what type of movie its going to be. So if someone is offended by the film, they shouldn’t see it!

  13. Did they cut the shooting scenes in Saving Privtae Ryan because it might offend World War two veterans? No, they didn’t because the movie would be pointless and nonexistent if they did. What happened in Colorado is a tragedy but you can’t destroy artwork because of it. Film is art (well its used to be) for the most part, dont ruin it because people got shot. Nolan paid his respect by canceling the Paris premiere, no more is needed.

  14. There’s a part of me that supports not cutting any part of the movie just to prove that you can’t let one gunman affect your lives more than it already has. But then again, this is out of respect for those affected by the tragic event in CO.

    • Do you really think any of those affected by the shooting would really care about a scene in a movie? This is just studio execs huddling with their PR teams and covering their asses just in case some moron accuses them of insensitivity.

  15. The decision of the individual rests solely with the individual. If WB is doing this in good taste, that’s their right but how many movies still depict people being struck by vehicles, shot in hold-ups, or worse? The fragility of life is always there, always present. It’s up to us as individuals to respect that and to separate fact from fiction.

  16. Way to go to encourage more of these shooting incidents. How about to not let someone buy 6000 rounds of ammo and military weapons? America’s gun laws are so f’ messed up

    • It’s a business PR move, and maybe real attempt at sensitivity.

      I can guarantee you that this will be one of the few, if any actual changes to American society in regards to this event. Enjoy.

  17. That sucks that scene was awesome in the trailer well i hope they put it in the bluray. But i think that move is just plain stupid so no because of one shooting now no movie can show scenes like that one please it was a tragedy what happened but the entire world cant pay from the actions of some loon who actually deserves the electric chair in my book but i think this Colorado shooting has been blown way out of proportion how many people get killed in wars or on the street in worst ways and people dont care about it because it has nothing to do with them this movie has nothing to do with the colorado shooting so i say leave it has it is or at least release it on the bluray.

  18. This is silly. if we are going to be pulling movies out of theaters for every act that happens in real life then, there should be no war movies. No political dramas, no historical pieces. No form of enertainment alone. this is cinema and it will always imitate life in one form or another. if events take place during a movie and it occurs in real life well……nut up or shut up!!!! no one was running in tears from the movie theater when the building collapsed in the Avengers and it was reminisant of 9/11 when the dust flooded the streets. i dont here any one thinking of the nazi desendents when they make war movies, it may be offensive to them. what about violence against blacks in movies with gang bangers and latinos and drugs its association but still come on. why dont we ban the movie the savages because it depicts the vilonce taking place in mexico with the cartels. lets think of those families who have had memebers killed by the cartels. this is just a usual american reaction. lets knee jerk a response. stupid stupid stupid!!!!! america its time to nut up or shut up. you have lost your way!!!!!

  19. This is silly. if we are going to be pulling movies out of theaters for every act that happens in real life then, there should be no war movies. No political dramas, no historical pieces. No form of enertainment alone. this is cinema and it will always imitate life in one form or another. if events take place during a movie and it occurs in real life well……nut up or shut up!!!! no one was running in tears from the movie theater when the building collapsed in the Avengers and it was reminisant of 9/11 when the dust flooded the streets. i dont here any one thinking of the nazi desendents when they make war movies, it may be offensive to them. what about violence against blacks in movies with gang bangers and latinos and drugs its association but still come on. why dont we ban the movie the savages because it depicts the vilonce taking place in mexico with the cartels. lets think of those families who have had memebers killed by the cartels. this is just a usual american reaction. lets knee jerk a response. stupid stupid stupid!!!!! america its time to nut up or shut up. you have lost your way!!!!!

  20. I don’t think this is about winning or losing. The murderer has already won and society has already lost. His notoriety will be forever infamous because of this horrible act and our obsession with terrible things. This has nothing to do with movies and yet has everything to do with movies.
    If the people who made this movie want to offer this kind act to the people of Colorado, then we should be behind them one hundred percent. Turn your anger towards the coward who hid in the shadows killing innocent people.

  21. Next thing you know, they’ll be changin the ending to Inglourious Basterds…

  22. Now if only Sean Penn could be excised from the film.

    • Comment of the day!

    • ha!

  23. Of course, the public comments of Warner Bros. are going to say they are doing this because it would be insensitive to include the scene, but we all know why they’re really doing it. Leaving the scene in and releasing the movie as scheduled wouldn’t merely offend or hurt the families and survivors of the Aurora shooting; it would “offend” a large percentage of the population, and that translates to lost dollars for the studio. This way, they make the symbolic gesture of recutting the movie, release it at a later date, and everyone else who wasn’t directly affected by the shooting can feel better about themselves when they go see the movie.

    I would be fine with them leaving the scene in and releasing on schedule, but then again, I’m capable of differentiating life from film. However, I would like to see this movie do well, and it frankly would not do well without recutting and delaying its release.

  24. The scene is in the trailer and is out there already. People that are sensitive to the scene don’t have to watch it the movie period. Just delaying the film is enough.

  25. When I first saw the trailer and I saw that shootout in the theater, I said that’s ridiculous. I read one of the books that describes the subject matter and of course that theater shootout is fictitious. But, if the filmmakers chose to include that scene, for whatever reason, they should not be beholden to do anything about it, regardless of whether it is similar to a real-life event. I understand that the idea, but artistically, what does this say? That a work of entertainment can’t have anything in it that happens to be somewhat similar or reminiscent to a real-life tragic occurrence because it might be considered insensitive or offensive? People should be able to understand the difference and accept that what they see in thing has nothing to do with another.

    • “But, if the filmmakers chose to include that scene, for whatever reason, they should not be beholden to do anything about it”

      and if the filmmakers chose to remove that scene, for whatever reason, they should not be beholden to keep it in either.

      “but artistically, what does this say? That a work of entertainment can’t have anything in it that happens to be somewhat similar or reminiscent to a real-life tragic occurrence because it might be considered insensitive or offensive?”

      It goes both ways, whetehr the filmmakers leave it in or take it out. If they leave it in, someone’s gonna call ‘em oblivious. If they take it out, someone who’s still perfectly free is gonna claim to be held hostage.

      You know how some people last Thursday felt like going to a movie on the weekend and then by Friday evening didn’t feel like going to a movie on the weekend and felt better doing something else on the weekend so they did that instead?

      I even saw a couple of jerks accuse *them* of being irrational for *that* (as if it’s ever rational to to keep doing something, that you only did for fun, when it’s not fun anymore): http://www.metafilter.com/118085/Shooting-at-Batman-Premiere-outside-Denver#4463177

  26. I think what might happen is that Warner Bros. bows to public pressure and the entire film will be re-cut not only to excise the theater shooting scene, but also to change the storyline so the theater shooting is rendered unnecessary to the basic plot. If Gangster Squad’s release is delayed — until, let’s say, the first weekend of December — that could help it because the Aurora shootings will have retreated to the back of the public’s memory, and there may not be any negative connotations attached to a re-cut version of Gangster Squad.

  27. I am sympathetic to the families don’t get me wrong and I hope and pray nothing like this never happens again, but the reality is that’s just wishful thinking. People are going to act and react to anything and everything regardless of what is shown in movies or what happens in real life… So b doing this we r lettin this guy win.. Should we now because if u know some who has overdosed off of prescription medication, stop producing that drug or take it away? Or because u know someone who has comitited suicide by jumping from a high rise building, stop building them? It doesn’t work like that people. Just because something tragic happened doesnt mean that we have completely change way of life. Just adapt. Simple. I know things like can bring back memories and such, but rs not like this film is based on the shooting that happened in the theater during the midnight release of batman. This is completely ridiculous. Just sayin’!

  28. I am sympathetic to the families don’t get me wrong and I hope and pray nothing like this never happens again, but the reality is that’s just wishful thinking. People are going to act and react to anything and everything regardless of what is shown in movies or what happens in real life… So by doing this we r lettin this guy win.. Should we now because if u know some who has overdosed off of prescription medication, stop producing that drug or take it away? Or because u know someone who has comitited suicide by jumping from a high rise building, stop building them? It doesn’t work like that people. Just because something tragic happened doesnt mean that we have completely change way of life. Just adapt. Simple. I know things like this can bring back memories and such, but its not like this film is based on the shooting that happened in the theater during the midnight release of batman. This is completely ridiculous. Just sayin’!

  29. There is a lot of assuming here about who would feel what. Get over yourselves. Nobody can speak for those poor people. It is for them to figure out, and we all should let them. Of course we all offer our support, but they will take that as they will.

    I think this is a very sensitive matter, and WB is trying to accommodate as best they can, short of pulling the film altogether until a later date.

    Which, to me, doesn’t sound like a bad idea. But, the show must go on, so to speak. Perhaps the scene will be placed back in for the home video release in some capacity, which I would support. It could easily qualify as an unrated director’s cut. In the spirit of not allowing censorship, I think giving the home viewer a choice of the theatrical or unrated cut would be a very good compromise.

    Bad things, which we are all too aware of, happen all the time. It’s how we deal with it and move on that counts. As a studio, WB has to be sensitive to this, but on the same token, it would be a shame if we never get to see the whole film as it was originally intended.

    • Thank you, User987. This is probably the most intelligent post in this entire thread.

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