In the Gangster Squad trailer, Josh Brolin, playing a chiseled L.A. cop from the 1940s, chases a band of thugs into a movie theater. As he approaches the front of the room, the criminals begin shooting from behind the large movie screen, emerging from tears in the material to pump bullets into the crowd.
Will Warner Delay or Re-Cut 'Gangster Squad' in Wake of the Aurora Tragedy?
It was a shocking and original image … and now, in light of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, an insensitive one as well. Warner Bros. immediately began pulling trailers from theaters. That was a wise move. These next cautionary steps regarding Gangster Squad have to be considered, though. Here’s what Warner is contemplating.
The film reportedly will maintain its Sept. 7 release date … for now. But the scene in question, according to Variety, will be reshot. We’re not sure where the scene factored in to the finished product, but we’re hearing it was a significant sequence that will have to be reworked in order to maintain the flow of the story. Hitfix also reported that the movie had tested with preview audiences, and studio executives were happy with the result. This changes everything.
Gangster Squad co-stars Ryan Gosling, Michael Peña and Anthony Mackie as cops on Brolin’s team ordered to take down a mob boss played by Sean Penn. In light of last Friday’s shooting, Warner is reacting to the tragedy. They are making decisions to alter their film for what appear to be the right reasons. At this moment, it’s the right move.
But are drastic cuts necessary? The decision to reshoot this seemingly consequential scene could damage a film that has nothing to do with the whims of a potential criminal. Years from now, when people sit down to watch Gangster Squad, will they associate it with Aurora? Or is it just unfortunate timing for a movie that’s based on criminal activity? Tell us what you think. Does Warner have to go so far as to rework a period film because of what happened in Colorado?
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.