Warner Bros. To Remove Scene & Undergo Reshoots On 'Gangster Squad' In Wake Of Colorado Shooting

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by Kevin Jagernauth
July 23, 2012 2:01 PM
39 Comments
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With the saga of the awful Aurora, Colorado shooting at the end of last week only just beginning, as the alleged perpetrator had his first court date today -- televised, of course -- it seems Warner Bros. has made a decision regarding "Gangster Squad." As you might recall, the studio quickly rushed to yank the trailer from in front of prints of "The Dark Knight Rises" as it featured a sequence in which some gangsters shoot through a movie screen toward an audience. Reports also suggested that WB was tabling a few options on how to handle the film, from delaying the release to cutting the scene, and unfortunately, the latter option is prevailing.

Variety reports that with the September 7th release date still locked in, the movie theater scene will be removed from "Gangster Squad" with reshoot plans now underway. And we have to say, we think this is an earnest, if completely wrong-headed decision. Given the 24-hour, non-stop news cycle we live in, there is no doubt that Warner Bros. was feeling the pressure to make some kind of gesture or announcement regarding the fate of the film, but editing the movie sends the wrong message. It condescends to the audience, not giving moviegoers enough credit for being able to make an informed decision about their choices at the multiplex or being able to handle a difficult scene as adults. But from another angle, it also seems a crassly commercial move, ensuring the movie still gets released in the all-important 4th quarter, whereas simply delaying the release would allow the appropriate space between the event and the film, while still maintaining the artistic integrity of the picture. In short, if they pursued the latter course, the studio would be allowing that murderous lunatic to have a much less corrosive effect on their film.

The scene in question is said to be a climatic one, so it's unclear just how extensive reshoots will need to be or what cast members will be involved. But it seems its appearance in the trailers will be the last of it we'll see (unless it's preserved on the eventual DVD/Blu-ray). Did WB make the right call? Let us know below.

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More: Warner Bros. , Gangster Squad

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39 Comments

  • Will | July 29, 2012 2:38 PMReply

    They should just move the release date back. Dont put this out now while it's fresh on our minds. Don't cut the scene.

  • Venomus | July 26, 2012 1:17 AMReply

    WB, you made the wrong decision. Removing this scene is the wrong way to go. Pushing the movie back to add time between the event and the release date is sufficient. Removing a scene so crucial to the film is going a few steps too far.

  • TB | July 25, 2012 10:47 PMReply

    WB, you couldn't have sent a worse message with this decision. The shooter from the Aurora killings wants to leave his mark. Changing the film as a direct result of his actions gives him power. Delay the release in respect of the dead and the sympathies of your audience, but don't you dare alter a single frame of that film because of him.

  • MDL | July 24, 2012 5:36 PMReply

    I see nothing wrong with WB doing this. Gangster Squad is a product. It is not a work of art. WB releases movies that are made with the market in mind. If they deem that audiences will be uncomfortable with some of the scenes in Gangster Squad then changing it is completely in accordance with what corporations do with any product they sell.

  • Christina Smythe | July 24, 2012 3:27 PMReply

    I am very saddened to hear about this terrible shooting incident. My sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this tragedy. Someone created a memorial page for these victims on Evertalk within Facebook. There is a memorial fund on this page and people can donate to help the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy. Here's the page.
    https://apps.facebook.com/evertalk/index/memorial/victimscolorado2137

  • Jacklyn Johnson | July 24, 2012 3:31 PM

    Deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this tragic incident. Thanks for the heads up on the Evertalk memorial page Christina. I will make sure to visit it.

  • g | July 24, 2012 7:49 AMReply

    funny how there are films being made portraying horrific incidents and on the other side movies (that have no connection with these events ) are being cut because of the same incidents

  • lenij | July 24, 2012 5:00 AMReply

    Why not just move the date of the showing a little further. I don't think that showing the film as it is makes them insensitive to what happened. What that will do is compromise the integrity of the film. It just seem like a terrible decision on the part of the studio. People are not idiots you know, give them some credit.

  • nechoplex | July 24, 2012 1:12 AMReply

    That being the scene that totally sold me on Gangster Squad I have to say I am very disappointed with WB decision. Do they really think changing that scene will have any real social impact besides upset a bunch of people and potentially fuck up the climax of the film? They should leave as it is. Release the film next year if you must.

  • triguous | July 23, 2012 7:50 PMReply

    That was the scene in the trailer that made me gasp (pre-Aurora). It's a shame they're removing it.

  • jimmiescoffee | July 23, 2012 6:10 PMReply

    horrible news for movies.

  • AS | July 23, 2012 4:42 PMReply

    Unbelievable! Well, they just lost my $8.50.

  • Krista | July 23, 2012 4:21 PMReply

    I really don't understand how it is condescending to the audience at all. I think there's going to be people that appreciate the fact that the scene is no longer in the movie and I think there will be others that wouldn't care either way. How long is this scene supposed to be anyway? How could cutting a relatively short scene about people getting shot at in a movie theatre dramatically alter the feel or quality of the film?

  • Zack | July 23, 2012 3:29 PMReply

    Can we at least have the honesty to admit that how we feel about this probably correlates directly with how excited we are for the movie?

  • LOO | July 24, 2012 10:42 AM

    Not necessarily. I have no interest in this film whatsoever. It looks lame and generic. It just sucks to see the trend of films being watered down and sanitized continue.

  • Jesse | July 23, 2012 3:23 PMReply

    It's from te director of Zombieland and 30 min or less.
    Does anyone on this site want to see this film? I thought it looked boring, and uninteresting. Why watch that when there are so many other great films out.

    Let Warner bros do whatever the hell they want with their commercial property. I couldn't care less.

  • Agreed | July 23, 2012 4:40 PM

    That's what I'm saying. Who cares about this film? Not Warner Bros., who already changed the release date twice, only to dump it in a September slot. This movie looks TERRIBLE.

  • Toir | July 23, 2012 3:15 PMReply

    Stupid idea. Just leave it as is. Just push the release date back a month or so. You can't let one crazy controll how a film is made or released.

  • Cinematic_high | July 23, 2012 3:13 PMReply

    Pathetic, WB.....fucking pathetic, cowardly and dumb beyond belief. Given a chance to shine and not cave in, and they go ahead and choose the latter. If that's that case, let's take away Superman's cape so kids won't be tempted to jump off things and pretend to fly like most kids do. Make Rocky a ping pong player.....

  • Seriously WTF | July 23, 2012 3:10 PMReply

    fuck why why thats such a stupid thing to to , honestly a pussy move . What happened was sad but you cant change the movie just because it might remind people about what happened.

  • Joshua | July 23, 2012 3:08 PMReply

    This is bad. The American public are not going to learn anything if everything is so self censored. These scenes were shot in context with no linkage to the shooting. Please leave it alone and let us be the judge of your film. If the film were not done by WB or any major studio we wouldn't see this problem surface. Very very bad filmmaking.

    And what happened in Colorado was awful. I am a theater manager at a small downtown 9 screener. What happened was terrifying. But Gangster Squad was not about that shooting. Low blow to the intelligence of the American people. Besides, do you really ever consider how many other people are murdered in third world countries daily? I don't see movies changing for that.

    People are brutally murdered in Africa and we do nothing. Here they change movies so no one is offended.

  • Olli | July 24, 2012 1:35 AM

    "Besides, do you really ever consider how many other people are murdered in third world countries daily?" Why look so far away. In the US only this year there have happened about 25 mass shootings with at least 3 or more people dead. Does anyone care about that while making or watching movies.
    Dumb decision from the Warner lot. That doesn`t help anyone, not the people in Aurora and not the box office of this movie.
    Maybe they should sleep a few nights over it before making a final decision.

  • randy | July 23, 2012 4:44 PM

    "Besides, do you really ever consider how many other people are murdered in third world countries daily?"

    so true

  • Jacques DeMolay | July 23, 2012 3:02 PMReply

    I dislike this decision utterly, and I feel it sets a bad precedent (or, continues one already set by Vanilla Sky, as one poster noted below). I'm not sure just how much of an art peice this film was before, but changing it like this should be a decision left up to the creative forces behind the film - i.e. the director/screenwriters/etc. A film is someone's artistic vision, and as such, it should be the artists' call on when/what to change, not the bean-counters and money-grubbers of the studio.

  • Rohan | July 23, 2012 2:57 PMReply

    Now give the film a PG13 rating, and change the title also. That's what gansters do. So, removing the scene is absolutely stupid. I understand the fact that WB is doing this to show their respect to the victims and their families, but people going to watch the film are adults. Not kids. I think it's disrespectful not only to the film-maker, writer here, it is also disrespectful to the fans of WB. and to the actors in the film. There are bad things happening on daily basis, so cutting a scene from a movie should be a daily tradition from now on then.

  • Sean | July 23, 2012 2:56 PMReply

    Movies are escapism. And even though those sevens might be somewhat hard to watch considering what happen, it's still want audiences enjoy seeing. Guns and action and all that.
    I say leave the scene in and push the release date. That way the film stays the same and there's some distance between it and the incident.

  • Derek | July 23, 2012 2:47 PMReply

    Film is an art form and a movie represents the vision and ideas of Artists (the filmmakers). Taking out critical parts of a movie to make it more generally accepted is like censoring Michael Angelo's sculptures. They're destroying a piece of art because some people might find it offensive. I personally don't find anything pleasing in any of Picasso's work, but that doesn't mean I wish he had made them differently; I just choose not to look at them. And if WB wants to detroy art just to make more money, then shame on them.
    I was excited for this movie...

  • Matt | July 23, 2012 2:47 PMReply

    Let this be a lesson to filmmakers everywhere: never show bad things happening in your movies; bad things might happen in real life and you'll be forced to change your movie.

  • Jeremy | July 23, 2012 2:46 PMReply

    Leave it alone it's just a movie yeah it might be close to the shooting date but come on Its a GREAT art form that people love and just because one person did this horrible acts doesnt mean we should give up and say cut the scene. Honestly of W. Bs didn't bring this up saying they might cut it then when the movie came out people wouldent even have thought twice about the scene now since you said that people are now going to see what it means you they shouldent have brought it up and even still if people did bring it up and it offended them a lot then don't see the movie simple as that it's like 30 mins or less that movie is a based on a real story except at the end the man strapped to the bomb blows up in frog of everyone and on tv screaming take it off!! Take it off!!! Crying as his family gets to watch him die on tv and then try get a good idea lets make a movie out of this but a comedy. Don't you think his family was mad? Acourse! I personally didn't find the movie offensive cause I didn't know the guy I thought it was a decent movie but for the family they didn't sue them or anything all they did was not see the movie and if the people in colorado still feel offended when this movie comes I'm sorry to your losses honesty but just dont see the movie

  • Sean Young | July 23, 2012 2:35 PMReply

    This is fucking stupid.

  • hank | July 23, 2012 2:31 PMReply

    It's a tough decision either way. Can they reshoot and recut without damaging the integrity of the film? We don't know the answer to that if we haven't seen the film.

  • Ivuoma | July 23, 2012 2:17 PMReply

    Absolutely, I think they did. In the wake of what's happened it just seems the most tasteful option. In respect to the victims of that horrible shooting, those who died and who made it out, simply delaying the film until the case and event aren't as relevant to the public eye anymore doesn't diminish the true-life horror that scene is now associated with. I think I and many others will agree that it's nice to see that Warner Brothers chooses to operate with integrity and sensitivity to this tragedy at the cost of the additional expenses reshooting will cause. Cudos to them. After the work that goes into production, no filmmaker wants their movie defined by something like that.

  • Travis | July 23, 2012 2:53 PM

    The question isn't really should they have delayed it (a more challenging debate, and one that I don't think I necessarily disagree with you on). The real question is is cutting scenes really the best way to handle the situation, or is it essentially telling Holmes that he, for lack of a better word, wins

  • paitl | July 23, 2012 2:14 PMReply

    I agree. This is a stupid move by WB. Not sure I want to go see it now if they're going to do this. Yeah, the shooting was horrible, but it had nothing to do with Gangster Squad. People know what they're getting going into this movie, lots of guns and violence. Why ruin the integrity of the film because if this? Grow some balls WB!

  • cirkusfolk | July 23, 2012 2:13 PMReply

    Vanilla Sky did the same thing. There was a big shootout scene between Tom Cruise and the cops in the Lucid Dream building near the end of the film. You can actually see scenes of the SWAT team and Tom Cruise with a gun in the film's trailer. Then Columbine happened and everybody started cutting shooting scenes out of movies. It sadly looks like we are still in the exact same boat.

  • Talie | July 23, 2012 2:12 PMReply

    I don't think this film should be getting all the focus...there's a lot of violent films coming in fall, including Tarantino's.

  • Talie | July 23, 2012 4:43 PM

    Um, hi crazy, my comment was not saying that at all. Just that it seems odd to solely focus in on this one movie.

  • AS | July 23, 2012 4:39 PM

    Yep, that's right, lets edit out all violence from every single film coming out. And why stop there? Let's edit out violence from EVERY film ever made. Because we want to be sensitive, of course. You like the dinner scene in The Godfather? Too bad. Was Drive too much for you last year? Well, don't worry, we'll cut out all of the violence for you. Was the helicopter sequence in Apocalypse Now too intense? Fine, consider it gone!

  • Great Scott! | July 23, 2012 2:06 PMReply

    This is idiotic.

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