WB Mulling Over Gangster Squad Problem Post-TDKR Colorado Shooting

Josh Brolin in Gangster Squad (2012) Movie ImageAccording to various sources (re: people who I know in real-life), their screenings of “The Dark Knight Rises” in theaters were accompanied by the first trailer for Ruben Fleischer’s period crime flick “Gangster Squad”, which, unfortunately, included the then-very cool sequence at the end where mobsters, literally, shoot up a movie theater in an attempt to get at the hero played by Josh Brolin. This is, obviously, a super bad (and very unfortunate) coincidence in light of the Colorado shooting.

In the aftermath of the shooting, Warner Bros. was reportedly scrambling to either swap that trailer for “Gangster Squad” with a new version, one minus the theater shooting, or have it pulled completely. Of course, that’s easier said than done. You don’t just “swap” trailers to a movie in one day, after all, you need to ship new prints to theaters around the country and that takes time. It’s easier to just pluck it out of the rotation, which I hear, is what they ended up doing.

So what about the scene in the film itself? That’s an even trickier problem, according to the LATimes:

Studio executives are discussing the possibilities of pushing the release date and recutting the film to minimize the theater shooting scene or remove it altogether, according to two knowledgeable people not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

As a result of the editing plans, Warner is considering canceling a “Gangster Squad” test screening planned for later this month, the people added.

Cutting the scene won’t be an easy task. It serves as a climactic moment, and even shortening it could hurt the noir action film’s narrative arc. As a result, any significant changes might require shooting new scenes.

It sure is one hell of bad-timing for the Fleischer movie, that’s for sure. Who could have seen that coming? The scene in question (you can watch it below, around the 2-minute mark) is pretty damn cool before the tragedy in Colorado. Post-Colorado, it just feels wrong. Then again, it was featured so prominently in the movie, I get the feeling it really is a big part of the action.

On the plus side, they have plenty of time to mull this tricky issue over. The movie won’t open until September, and they could always delay it, to allow enough time to pass in order to keep the scene. How does 2013 sound?