Warner Bros. editing Gangster Squad to remove the movie theater shootout sequence
Right after the Aurora, CO shooting early Friday morning it began to click with movie goers that there is a scene in the trailer for GANGSTER SQUAD that features gunmen opening fire in a crowded movie theater through the screen itself. This is one of the major sequences in the film and was obviously filmed due to the shock value of such an act occurring in the first place. Now that something similar has happened in real life, Warner Bros. has decided to take some action.
According to Variety, instead of holding back the film's release or editing the scenes out of the trailer, the entire theater portion of the movie will be cut and new scenes will be filmed.
While WB has not confirmed nor denied this, it is not the first time something like this has happened. After September 11th, Sony removed the SPIDER-MAN teaser that featured the Twin Towers prominently. I worked at Blockbuster Video at the time and we had to ship back every copy of A KNIGHT'S TALE on VHS due to the inclusion of that teaser.
Unlike the SPIDER-MAN teaser, the scene from GANGSTER SQUAD actually appears in the film and is a central plot device. This is a major change to the movie itself. While I could never imagine what the families and victims of the shooting must be feeling, I think there will be a lot of conversation amongst movie fans and the media whether completely overhauling a film such as this is warranted.
As of now, GANGSTER SQUAD is still slated to open on September 7th but we will let you know if things change due to these reshoots.