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Source: Warner Bros. pulling theater shooting scene from ‘Gangster Squad’

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk
July 24, 2012

In the wake of the deadly movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, that left 12 people lifeless and more than 50 injured, it appears Warner Bros. is pulling a scene from their upcoming crime film "Gangster Squad" that -- eerily -- depicts a movie theater shooting.

A source told Variety that the studio is removing the aforementioned scene as well as moving forward with re-shoots for the film, which is currently set to land in theaters on September 7. (Though sources have told the L.A. Times the release date may be moved. 7/25 UPDATE: Sources are saying "Gangster Squad" release date will be moved to January.) Yahoo! Movies reached out to Warner Bros. regarding these reports and they said: "We have no official comments or statements at this time."

[Related: Christian Bale on Colorado shooting: 'Words cannot express the horror that I feel']

The scene that is said to be getting removed was, in part, shown in the theatrical trailer which had been running ahead of "The Dark Knight Rises." A key to the film's climactic sequence, the scene depicts police agents shooting bullets into a crowded theater from behind a movie screen.

In the hours following the Friday shooting in Colorado, Warner Bros. acted swiftly, deciding to pull the trailer from movie theaters nationwide. And since the scene was so key to the plot, re-shooting -- and likely rewriting -- is presumably no small matter in the production of the film.

The film, starring Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone, revolves around crime-infested 1949 Los Angeles -- where cops are forced to side-step the law in order to weed out the mob's growing influence.

Warner Bros., which was reported on Tuesday to have given a substantial amount of money to the Aurora Relief Fund, also responded to the tragedy by cancelling "TDKR" premieres in Paris, Mexico and Japan. The studio, however, said it would continue its plan for scheduled special screenings for invited guests and promotional winners "in an effort not to disappoint the dedicated fans of the film."

[Related: Women Who Survived Theater Shooting Grieve for Hero Boyfriends]

Since 9/11, Hollywood has become all too familiar with making adjustments in response to the national mood: Many films, including "Zoolander," which edited its depiction of a New York City with the World Trade Center towers still intact, made significant edits -- some films delaying their release dates -- after 9/11. More recently, another Ben Stiller film, "The Watch," in theaters this Friday, made significant changes, including to its title, as a result of thematic similarities to the Trayvon Martin case.

One industry insider told The Hollywood Reporter that Friday's deadly shooting has definitely impacted the film industry, adding that release dates of more violent films will likely be pushed back. "Something like this is not going to go away quickly... If I have a picture that is very violent now, I would try and find another place for it later on. It just makes common sense," said Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Tom Sherak, also the former head of 20th Century Fox.

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